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A woman in black dress standing with her hands on a crash cymbal.

Still Life with Avalanche

26 August 2023

In the Utzon Room | Classical Music

From a timeless classic by Steve Reich to a world premiere by Paul Dean, a bouquet of contemporary composers examine every aspect of our crazy lives, including love, death and reality TV.

Still Life with Avalanche

Beauty is found in repetition and chaos, movement and stillness, in Missy Mazzoli’s Still Life with Avalanche. Steve Reich’s New York Counterpoint plucks rhythmic patterns from everyday life, with a transfixing impression of New York’s restless heartbeat, while Kaija Saariaho enters a haunting and dreamlike state with Cendres. A new work by Samantha Wolf explores our connection with reality TV and examines our crazy lives in a bouquet of fresh sonorities.

To close the program, we’re thrilled to present a world premiere by Paul Dean. His new work the weight we carry was composed especially for the sextet, commissioned by Mark Wakely as the 2023 Steven Alward Memorial Music Commission. Taking inspiration from Allen Ginsberg’s poem Song, Dean’s work expresses the importance, burden and desperation of love.

By altering the conceptual lens and shifting our musical focus, each work in Still Life with Avalanche presents a surprising change of perspective. A mind-opening experience.

Claire Edwardes
Artistic Director, percussion

Lamorna Nightingale

Jason Noble

Véronique Serret

Blair Harris

Benjamin Kopp

Presented by Ensemble Offspring

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