Mantra

Quintet for Bass Clarinet and St Qt

Initial sketch: 1995

Rewritten/developed:  2003,

2nd Edition: revised 2018

ISMN: 979-0-720090-56-6

1 Intro (allegro, Adagio) 2.29

2 Allegro 7.43

1 -Intro (allegro, Adagio) 2.29

2 -Allegro 7.43

3 -Adagio, tempo rubato 4.40

4 -Poco Andante 8.48

Mantra is based on a half-remembered Tibetan chant.  Though not purporting to express any specific Buddhist ideas or sentiments, it does capture something (well, I think so) of an at times meditative state of mind.  It is, however, interspersed with  occasional musical irruptions from the psyche of normally consciously controlled and held-back feeling states and energies.

 

Profound as this all may sound, it is only what I have come up with now, many years later to give some sense of ...something or other about the work. Sort of the usual irrelevent filler material enclosed in program notes, etc.

Recorded for ABC Classics in 2003, by:

Margery Smith, bass clarinet;
Elektra String Quartet
(Jun Yi-Ma, Romano Crivici -violins; Rudi Crivici, viola; Sally Maer, cello.)

Recording engineer: Peter Winkler

Available on Stringlines album

This work was originally composed as a reciprocal gesture, and to deepen the collaborative process already in play resulting from the commissioning of High Tension Wires (Nigel Westlake 1st String Quartet, commissioned by myself for the Elektra String Quartet).

It was also an opportunity for Nigel and myself to enjoy and share a musical ‘catch-up’, which had become increasingly hard to do because of our busy schedules; and, well, Nigel was also a hell-of-a mean bass clarinet player and improviser! (hence a section for improvisation in the second movement).

It is in that context that some subtle similarities to his quartet make sense as, at the time, I thought it very funny to include veiled references to his work, (a very ‘in’ joke, in many senses of the term!). Nevertheless, Mantra does reflect something of my own …self, or life-path, where-in distinctions between music, spirituality, hey there, even ‘reality’, are, in some fundamental senses, experienced as being only just that, verbal distinctions.

 

Well, having said that, Mantra tends to groove, drift, pulse and lilt in ambient states of altered musical consciousness. Enough said, I think.    R C, 2018

 

Icon

Quintet for Bass Clarinet and St Qt

Initial sketch: 1994

Rewritten/developed: ??,

Reworked and into Duo No (Reflections on Life, Death and Transience) -2017

ISMN: ?

Icon

Quintet for Bass Clarinet and St Qt

Initial sketch: 1994

Rewritten/developed: ??,

Reworked and into Duo No (Reflections on Life, Death and Transience) -2017

ISMN: ?

This work was originally for violin and viola, quickly composed for my friend Mel Brigg, a South African artist, (now resident in Queensland) on hearing he had submitted a portrait for an exhibition of art work in honour of Mary MacKillop, soon to be beatified.

I could hear potential for further development with bass clarinet and string quartet, plus, we were performing with Nigel. No proper score for this version exists.

Performers:
Nigel Westlake - bass clar
Mirka Rozmus, Romano Crivici, violins
Rudi Crivici -viola
Markus Hartstein -cello
 
Clouds
Dale Barlow -sax
Mirka Rozmus, Romano Crivici -violins Rudi Crivici, viola
Peter Morrison cello


Premiered 20 Sept, 1994. At the Eugene Goosens Hall, ABC Studios Ultimo, Sydney

Early days, our vision was broad and high.... our experience low. I wrote Clouds, thinking we could perform it in quadraphonic....sort of; each member of the quartet in a different corner of the hall, the sax in the middle with the projections of groovy, state-of-the -art video footage from NASA fly-overs of earth and cloud... In the end, it was way beyond our organisational and technological capability .... the less said, the better.
15th August, 2022

An Ernest Groove (!?)

Quintet for Flute and St Qt

Initial version: 1982-3

Rewritten/developed: ??,

Version for flute and string quartet (Vln, Vla x 2 & cello, .......or!

ISMN: ?

A very early work, quartet/quintet for flute and strings, from almost a lifetime ago, was composed when I was in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and then joining the New England String Quartet. (1982-3?) It was to be performed at a concert I had organised  at the Huntington Estate Winery in Mudgee -blessed be Bob Roberts, a vigneron with a deep love of string chamber music!

Though incomplete ( I did revise and redevelop it a number of times in the intervening decades) I include it here so as not to forget it totally, and maybe one day finish it, and perform it with my beloved C. Though in some ways a 'juvenile' work, there are some good ideas in it as well.

18th August, 2022