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Act, for soprano and twelve players

  • Author(s): Coll, David Christian
  • Advisor(s): Campion, Edmund
  • et al.
Abstract

Act, for soprano and twelve players is a work approximately fifteen minutes in duration. It is a conducted work, to be performed in a concert hall. The work is primarily concerned with the relationship of musical ideas that are both heard and seen. In this musical context a theatre of relationships emerges whereupon each performers physical presence and sounds are weighed against poetic, spatial, technological and physiological circumstances.

Initially, the soprano is separate, with an individuality that is inaccessible to the rest of the ensemble, who appear unified as one mass. The ensemble plays while the soprano is silent. This single mass is spatially divided into 4 heterogeneous sub-groups. At other points, the two percussionists cooperate as a duo, the strings as a quintet, and the trombone and woodwinds as a quartet. There is a special trio that consists of the trombone, clarinet and baritone saxophone equipped with laryngophones, thereby isolating vocal utterances originating in the larynx.

The concluding section considers the entire ensemble as a single vocal apparatus, with the bass flute as the breath that originates in the lungs, the `laryngophone trio' as the larynx, and the speech of the rest of the ensemble as the vowels and consonants produced in the mouth.

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