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3 years ago

Buyan

  • Text
  • Audio
  • Timpani
  • Psathas
by John Psathas | Timpani and Digital Audio. The variety of playing techniques in Buyan demonstrate the subtleties offered—yet often overlooked—by the timpani. The player must navigate syncopated grooves in compound time, simmering roll and glissandi techniques, and playing with fingers. Most challenging of all, though, is the extensive pedalling required to articulate Buyan’s melodic material.

turn of the century. He

turn of the century. He was selected to score much of the opening ceremony of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, which led to a proliferation of large-scale projects, collaborating with artists from dozens of musical traditions. Much of his work since 2010 has overt social and historical commentary at its core. Psathas handled the orchestral arrangements for the Elect the Dead Symphony, featuring Armenian-American rock musician Serj Tankian. The album reached No.2 on the Billboard Classical Album Chart. Psathas wrote the original score for the feature film White Lies, described as a depiction of the head-on clash of beliefs and the nature of identity in early New Zealand European settler society. Between Zero and One is inspired by ancient and modern rhythms, and brings musicians from around the world into the concert space via interactive projection, transforming and challenging the traditional experience of fixed-location, temporally-contained performance. Psathas collaborated with Tankian once again for the song 100 Years, which is featured in the soundtrack to the film 1915, an unflinching exploration and remembrance of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Most recently, Psathas co-produced and wrote music for the epic experimental film project No Man’s Land—a project conceived to overtly challenge the accepted handling of World War I commemorations—and involved filming and integrating 150 musicians from more than 25 different countries, including Oum El Ghait (Morocco), Meeta Pandit (India), Bijan Chemirani (Iran/France), Marta Sebestyen (Hungary), Vagelis Karipis (Greece), Refugees of Rap (Syria), and Derya Turkan and Saddredin Ozcimi (Turkey). Psathas has received an array of awards and honours, including twice winning the SOUNZ Contemporary APRA Silver Scroll Award (2002 and 2004) for individual works and being awarded three Classical Album of the Year awards (2000, 2004 and 2007) in the NZ Music Awards. In 2003 he was made a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate and in 2005 was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM). He taught composition at the New Zealand School of Music (Victoria University of Wellington) receiving the title of Professor in Composition in 2011. In 2014, Victoria University of Wellington conferred Psathas the degree of Doctor of Music (DMus), a higher doctorate in recognition for the immense body of work he has contributed to his field. Psathas stepped down from his teaching role at the end of 2018 and has been awarded the title of Emeritus Professor. Latest information about the composer may be found at www.johnpsathas.com. PE189 – iv

Buyan (2018) Buyan is a rewarding workout, testing the timpanist’s proficiency in various techniques. Across its six minutes, the player must navigate syncopated grooves in compound time, simmering roll and glissandi techniques, and playing with fingers. Most challenging of all, though, is the extensive pedalling required to articulate the melodic material. Buyan moves briskly, its timpani line often skipping across the surface of the accompanying backing track’s dark and cinematic electronica. Indeed, the backing track evokes the mystery, intrigue and exoticism of the fabled island that names the work, rising and falling in intensity like the tides that are so integral to the island’s magic. The variety of playing techniques in Buyan demonstrate the subtleties offered—yet often overlooked—by the timpani. The composer writes: In Slavic mythology, Buyan is described as a mysterious island in the ocean with the ability to appear and disappear using tides. Three brothers—Northern, Western, and Eastern Winds—live there, and also the Zoryas solar goddesses who are daughters of the solar god Dazhbog. Koshcei the Deathless keeps his soul hidden there, secreted inside a needle placed inside an egg buried in a mystical tree. Legends call the island the source of all weather, created there and sent forth into the world by the god Perun. Buyan was commissioned by Diana Loomer as part of her Doctoral studies to explore and expand the repertoire of melodic writing for timpani through The Melodic Timpani Project. The premiere performance was given by Diana Loomer at the Bates Recital Hall, Austin, Texas, USA, on 10 March 2018. Diana Loomer writes: The first encounter that I had with John’s music was learning an excerpt from his timpani concerto Planet Damnation for an audition in 2010. As challenging as it was, I became intrigued by his powerful, yet melodic usage of timpani. He had built a rhythmic structure PE189 – v

Score Library

Digital Audio Timpani Psathas