If in waking a likeness of existence

written for City University Experimental Ensemble

The scene is set in an old abondoned house; mud on the floor, dust has settled on the broken wood panels that fell from the ceiling a long time ago, the moon and the stars send their glow through the holes in the roof and the plants have started to take back their territory.

 

A statue, standing in a puddle that has started to form as the rain pours down through the holes in the ceiling, is slowly waking up from a very long sleep. 

 

Her awareness of her uneventful surroundings become amplified after her long sleep; all the slow and small changes within her bring with them quiet and precise internal sounds, she slowly becomes aware of the house - its insides and its outsides - the living beings that occasionally pass by, until she finally becomes aware of her own external appearances and how she can not speak. She retreats back into her sleep.

The piece is written for any type of instrumental ensemble consisting of 15 to 25 performers. Specially made prepared music boxes are included in the piece and the performers playing the music boxes wear costumes which put them in the role of the statue in the story.

 

I took old music boxes and prepared them in different ways to create 'the broken voice' of the statue. The piece includes certain theatrical aspects and the music box performers portray the statue in the story through subtle choreographed movements.  The other instrumentalists improvise around the sonic world of the music boxes and around sonic words in the text score which accompanies the instructions of the piece.

 

The piece was premiered in 2019 at Iklectik in London by City University Experimental Ensemble, led by Tullis Rennie.

Excerpt - Live Performance - If in waking a likeness of existence - City University Experimental Ensemble
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Audio Example - Music Box 2 - Lilja María
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Audio Example - Music Boxes 1 & 6 & 7 - Lilja María
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