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Work


Clarion

a trumpet chamber concerto

Year:  2020   ·  Duration:  20m
Instrumentation:  solo trumpet in c doubling piccolo trumpet and conch in Eb, flute, oboe, clarinet in Bb doubling bass clarinet in Bb, bassoon, horn if F doubling conch in Gb, tenor trombone doubling conch in Bb, 2 x percussionists (1. vibraphone, tam-tam, 2 woodblocks, snare drum, 2. tubular bells, three suspended cymbals, 4 tom-toms, snare drum, bass drum), violins I, violins II, violas, cellos, double bass

Year:  2020
Duration:  20m
Instrumentation  solo trumpet in c doubling ...

About

Clarion, like my 2019 work Tipping Point, commissioned by the Auckland Philharmonia, addresses issues of climate change. Clarion is a musical call across oceans for us to wake up to climate change and rising sea levels. In developing this piece, with its use of the conch shell, or putātara, in reference to taonga puoro and the powerful impact of this sound, I contemplated the importance of listening to, and learning from, indigenous people and their knowledge when thinking about overcoming the climate crisis.

It’s western processes of capitalism, colonisation and industrialisation that have caused this catastrophe, while destroying indigenous cultures.

In Clarion, Bede is chief with the trumpet-thing (Golding, 'Lord of the Flies'), utilising a range of calls and cries, keening, moaning, alerting, and warning us of our need to act in the current climate emergency. Research shows that an understanding of warming can be seen in the carbon being layered in the growth of the conch shell/putātara. This informs the musical buildup of instrumental layers within the work, leading gradually to its cataclysmic climax.


Commissioned note

Commissioned by Bede Williams, funded by the 2019 APRA Art Music Fund


Dedication note

to Bede Williams


Contents note

Four movements:

  1. The Call
  2. Lament
  3. Eia, cadenza
  4. Finale: Let him be chief with the trumpet thing