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1 year ago

Planet Damnation Soli Version (Preview)

  • Text
  • Audio
  • Timpani
  • Psathas
by John Psathas | for Timpani and Digital Audio

concerto, Zahara, which

concerto, Zahara, which he first performed with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Atherton, at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand on 22 September 2006. In 2008, Chamber Music New Zealand commissioned Psathas to write a string quartet, A Cool Wind, for the world renown Takács Quartet, who presented the first performance in the Auckland Town Hall, Auckland, New Zealand on 23 July 2008. Psathas’ recent career highlights include the creation of key ceremonial music for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and more recently Zeibekiko, an entire programme of music celebrating the heritage of Greek music from antiquity and the present day. Zeibekiko was commissioned by the Eduard van Beinum Foundation at the request of the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble and toured Holland in 2004. It was a highlight of both the 2004 Bath Festival (UK) and the 2006 New Zealand International Festival of the Arts. Psathas’ inclination to work in a collaborative capacity with artists from a wide range of musical genres and backgrounds has resulted in projects such as Elect the Dead Symphony with Serj Tankian, and Pounamu with New Zealand roots musician Warren Maxwell. In 2011, Psathas produced his first film score for the feature-film, Good for Nothing, and further film music followed with White Lies in 2013. Psathas’ involvement with Booktrack—a company focused on developing synchronised soundtracks for eBooks—saw the opportunity to write music for the Salman Rushdie novel, In the South. Psathas has received a number of awards and honours, including twice winning the SOUNZ Contemporary APRA Silver Scroll Award (2002 and 2004) for individual works and taking three Classical CD 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). In 2014 Victoria University of Wellington awarded Psathas a Higher Doctorate in the degree of Doctor of Music (DMus) for the immense body of work he has contributed to his field. Latest information about the composer may be found at www.johnpsathas.com. PE172 – iv

Planet Damnation (2007) Planet Damnation was originally conceived as a work for solo timpani and orchestra. This edition of the work has been prepared to allow for a solo performance with a backing track. It includes the solo timpani part with digital audio featuring a MIDI realisation of the orchestral score compiled by the composer. The digital audio also features audio tracks comprised of various mixes and tempi which are intended for rehearsal purposes only. Allured by the potential of the timpani to facilitate both rhythmically elaborate and melodically expressive writing, Psathas exhausts the entire spectrum of the instrument in this work for timpani and orchestra. Planet Damnation refers to a chapter in Robert Fisk’s, The Great War for Civilisation, the influence of which can be heard in the subtle references to martial music throughout the work. By elaborating on the intricate timpani parts of his previous concerti (particularly Three Psalms (PE085) for piano and orchestra, and Zahara for saxophone and orchestra), Psathas’ aim in allowing the timpani to “find their melodic voice” is realised. An unrelenting upward trajectory is propelled by the increase in rhythmic complexity evident between the timpani and orchestra, which only dissipates in the closing moments of the work. However, this drop in dynamic force is only an ostensible evanescence due to the tension created between rising chromatic figures in the wind instruments and the harmonically static motif given to the timpani, thereby aligning with Psathas’ omni-climactic intent. Planet Damnation was commissioned by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and is dedicated to timpani virtuoso Laurence Reese. The composer writes: Writing for the timpani in a solo role made it possible to create a piece that was dynamic and full of powerful energy. After all, the timpani is one of the very few instruments which is not in danger of being drowned out by the orchestra. So, although the work is short, it is very intense much of the time. I was keen to create something that felt massive, and almost PE172 – v

Score Library

Digital Audio Timpani Psathas