3 years ago

The Isle Is Full of Noises (Preview)

by Christos Hatzis | Orchestra

I sense a different

I sense a different psychological pre-history of our species and use the tools of collective memory — the same tools that enable me to compose music — to trace this prehistory to its deep roots. This task is frustratingly difficult, constantly bouncing against the “hard facts” of science, but my view of reality has gradually evolved to be more similar to the one that Prospero and Caliban weave for the other characters in The Tempest, than to the creeds of scientists — with the possible exception of some quantum physicists, whose view of reality is even more fantastic than anything Shakespeare or the Genesis authors could be accused of conjuring. During the meditative process that composing has become for me, it occurred to me that it may be possible to view western European musical history from the classical masters to the mid-20th century as a continual process of psychological regression, reaching ever deeper into our imaginal past. If this is true, the music of this musical tradition that we all cherish is the creative by-product of this regression: it is the sonic fruit of our search for our psychic roots. Consequently, the time arrow of western music during this period would be a mirror reflection (an inversion) of the time arrow of this imaginal history. Restored, it would start with relatively independent parts and end up with complex wholes, so, if we were to reconstruct a proper timeline, we would start with modernism and gradually evolve forward towards classicism. Bizarre as this may sound, it is, nevertheless, the stylistic timeline that I ended up following in The Isle Is Full of Noises. The work begins with primal breathing and an elemental soundscape. Musical sounds gradually emerge from the depths of the orchestral spectrum in a tonally vague language, quickly transforming into impressionistic smears reminiscent of Debussy, one of my favourite composers. Timbre gradually morphs into melody and harmony but both are elusive, initially retaining their identity, though only briefly. Finally, the main D-major theme — representing the emergence of consciousness in the metaphorical structure of this work — is introduced by the string orchestra in an introverted, but eventually more selfconscious, manner. This theme is persistently pulled outward by the exuberance of the work’s triumphant ending, representing the emergence of the perfected human in this earthly sphere of consciousness. All of these musical metaphors were recognized as functioning archetypes in the music only after the completion of the compositional process, or near the end of the process. In retrospect, however, I realize that these archetypes acted as catalysts for the music all along and caused it to become what it is. One conscious influence was the music of Felix Mendelssohn, whose overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream I knew would precede The Isle Is Full of Noises in the concert programme of its premiere performance. Any PE120 – vi

stylistic similarity between the latter part of my work and Mendelssohn’s is therefore not coincidental. Then again, I subscribe to the view that nothing ever is. Christos Hatzis The Isle Is Full of Noises was commissioned by l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, who gave its premiere performance at the Maison Symphonique de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada on 15 October, 2013. The composer wishes to acknowledge Andrey Boreyko for his editorial suggestions about structure and Nathan Brock for his editorial suggestions about notation, which were instrumental in creating this revised version of the work in October 2014. Performance notes General • All tempi indicated in the score are maximal. Depending on the venue acoustic and rehearsal time available, significantly slower tempi may be more appropriate. While the choice of tempo is dependent on the above factors, the relationship between the indicated tempi, particularly where metric modulations are involved, should be maintained throughout. • All glissandi begin immediately and last for the entire notated duration. • Hauptstimme are used in the score and parts to show the most important melodic line in the music. • Nebenstimme are used in the score and parts to show the second most important line in the music. œ. ® œ . œ¯ in ex ≈ Œ Œ j • ¿ . ≈ ¿ Inhale and exhale ∑ air away from instrument without any throat vibration. Keep œ. ® œ . mp œ¯ the in ‰ R ≈ ‰ Œ j mouth ex to an “oo” formation when exhaling so as to produce a more definitive sound. a2 ¿ . ≈ ¿ ∑ . . While mp these markings are shown at the top of each instrumental choir in this edition, they œ ® œ ¯≈ in ex Œ œ ‰ ® œ Œ j ¿ . ≈ ¿ R œ a2 apply to all instruments. ∑ ≈ ‰ . . mp ∑ œ ® • ≈ Œ Œ ∑ . œ. Measures 238–257: Fast passages of a mostly accompanying, scalar nature may prove œ< mf ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ difficult ˙ ˙ j to play for many performers. In such passages the important notes are those œ œ that J œ are ‰ Œthe lowest and highest ∑ of the contour. The performer may choose to reduce the ∑ ∑ ∑ ∑ in ex Œ number j ¿ . ≈ ¿ of “filler” Œ notes ‰ that ® lie ‰ œ . ® œ . mp œ œ œ œ in between œ ≈ the highest and lowest notes, provided that the œ œ highest and lowest notes are R œ. - mf placed œ correctly in terms of timing and pitch. ≈ ‰ Œ ∑ mf in ex Œ j ¿ . ≈ ¿ Œ Œ ‰ mp œ œ œ œ mf PE120 – vii in Œ j ex ¿ . ≈ ¿ ∑ mp

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