Films, Audio & Samples
Patrick Shepherd: Lithosphe...Embedded audio
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It became clear that with several symphonic poems under my belt the time was right to embark on a symphony, a somewhat daunting task in this post-modern era! Much of the third movement is already written, and some of the second but in order to ensure total coherence the first movement had to be finished first (one might say “obviously” but if you are working on several things concurrently it is not always a given) and it has taken me several years to reach this point.
A lithosphere is a world of stone and the grandeur of the opening of the symphony captures this. I wanted to portray a particular aspect of nature in sound, the music developing organically from this point and I regard this work as complementing my earlier symphonic tone poem cryosphere.
The musical language in lithosphere is predominantly minimalist and the harmony modal, with the central section providing a contrast with the monolithic opening. However, the tension is not relaxed, the texture becoming more fragmented, underpinned by syncopation in strings and woodwind and quietly insistent timpani. In the opening the lower sounding instruments tend to operate as a group, while the woodwind weave together to form a very busy tapestry. Later the higher sounds become fragmented as the material is teased out and developed.
02 May 2010: 18th NZSO-SOUNZ Readings