1 year ago


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by Gareth Farr | Percussion Quartet

in-Residence for the

in-Residence for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. The residency culminated in 2008 with the premiere of Ex Stasis, a symphonic song cycle for four soloists. In 2008, Farr also celebrated the world premiere of his work Terra Incognita, for bass solo, choir and orchestra, performed by Paul Whelan and the Orpheus Choir with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Farr’s artistic excellence was acknowledged when he received the Arts Foundation of New Zealand’s Arts Laureate Award 2010, which aims to celebrate significant artistic achievement as well as nurture future creative endeavours. In March of 2014 Farr’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra received its world premiere from soloist Tony Lee and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Pietari Inkenen. Its UK premiere followed one year later, with Lee backed by the BBC Philharmonic, with conductor Tecwyn Evans. The BBC Philharmonic included Farr’s work alongside Douglas Lilburn’s Symphony No.2 as a programme to mark the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC troops’ battle at Gallipoli during World War I. The concerto received critical acclaim, described by the Dominion Post’s John Button as containing “marvellously free piano writing surrounded by orchestral sounds that conjure up memories of Prokofiev ballets, Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortileges and even the Bartok First Piano Concerto…the ear was tickled bar after bar. I have no doubt that this marvellously inventive piano concerto is bound to develop an international life all its own.” Farr’s music is particularly influenced by his extensive study of percussion, both Western and non-Western. Rhythmic elements of his compositions can be linked to the complex and exciting rhythms of Rarotongan log drum ensembles, Balinese gamelan and other percussion music of the Pacific Rim. Latest information about the composer may be found at PE130 – iv

Tubes (2008) As the antithesis of Farr’s previous works for STRIKE Percussion such as Pukul (PE096) and Ukare Funk (PE129) which exude machismo through large multi-percussion setups and high energy playing, Tubes restricts each player to one simple instrument producing one pitch. Farr utilises the interlocking playing techniques of Balinese gamelan music to create the illusion of one polyphonic instrument from the four performers. The incessant pulse often found in Farr’s music is constant throughout. Tubes was commissioned for STRIKE Percussion with funding from Creative New Zealand and received its premiere performance as part of their show Elemental at Downstage Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand, on 3 July 2008. Performance notes Instruments • The instruments for this work are four hollow aluminium pipes approximately 8–12cm in diameter. Ideally all four pipes should be the same diameter with the choice based on what is comfortable for the performers to handle. The pipe material must be thick enough to be resonant when struck, but not too thick as to be heavy and cumbersome. The material should be thicker than a drainpipe as to not easily be dented, but thinner than scaffolding pipe. Each performer has just one pipe and holds it with the palm and fingers near the centre in their non-dominant hand. • The lengths of the pipe are to be ordered so that Percussion 1 has the highest pitch (shortest pipe) and Percussion 4 the lowest sounding pitch (longest pipe). The pipes should range between 25cm for Percussion 1, and 55cm for Percussion 4, with Percussion 2 and 3 fitting in between at approximately 35cm and 45cm respectively. These measurements are only a guide and the ensemble should use their judgement when sourcing the instruments for this work. PE130 – v

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Gareth Farr Percussion Quartet Farr Percussion