Music for Sculptures

[Introduction]

[Ascending Form]

[Contrapuntal Forms]

[Quiet Form]

[Conversation with Magic Stones]

[Back to Rhythm of the Stones]

 

In Music for Sculptures I selected 4 sculptures by Barbara Hepworth that had musical titles or associations. Three were featured in the Centenary Exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park , the fourth is the sculpture Hepworth was working on when Priaulx Rainier wrote the Rhythm of the Stones, and it’s the one that has probably the most provocative musical title!The piece is not a musical commentary on Hepworth’s sculpture but attempts to connect with what I have been able to discover about her musical interests and experiences – which have resonances with my own. The music was created in something of the same spirit as her sculptures – where a clear conception of the work had to be in place before ‘the making’ could begin. Whereas Hepworth made many preliminary sketches and plans, my own preparation for Music for Sculptures was achieved through developing the pre-compositional material and rough prototypes within a computer environment for composing. For performers and listeners I have sought a further layer of ‘comment’ and illustration through the commissioning of 4 poems (from the poet Margaret Morgan). For the performer these poems are there to provide impetus towards developing unique and imaginative interpretations of the music; for the listener the texts may help counter-balance the weight of abstraction and lack of conventional reference that the music, like the sculptures, contain.

[Introduction]

[Ascending Form]

[Contrapuntal Forms]

[Quiet Form]

[Conversation with Magic Stones]

[Back to Rhythm of the Stones]

What these new pieces may present at a first hearing is all about the ‘play’ of forms, and by forms I mean all the elements that make music what it is – obviously melody, rhythm and the sounding together of pitches to create harmony – but also the listener will experience a really exciting ‘play’ of timbre, a musical element that has a special multi-dimensional quality about it. Music for Sculptures is a through-composed 25-minute composition. It is conceived in such a way that it can be performed by different instrumentations – but as long as these instrumentations celebrate difference! In other words this isn’t a piece for a string quartet to tackle. Working with computer technology makes this kind of variable scoring a practical reality . . . it also gives the work a much wider concert and studio recording life than many pieces can have. It has also been composed with a serious eye on its presentation as a web installation and DVD production . . . another reason for adding a poetic commentary and, of course, images of the sculptures themselves.

 

[Introduction]

[Ascending Form]

[Contrapuntal Forms]

[Quiet Form]

[Conversation with Magic Stones]

[Back to Rhythm of the Stones]


Music for Sculptures 

four Compositions after Sculptures by Barbara Hepworth For an ensemble of instruments of diverse timbre.



Ascending Form

(solo tenor instrument)



 

Contrapuntal Forms 

(quartet)


 

 

Quiet Form

 

(trio)


 

 

Conversation

(solo db. with optional ensemble)