COMPOSITIONS CREATED DURING THE COURSE:
Sofia Garcia Aleman
Fuerza interior (For Flute, Clarinet in Bb, Accordion and String quartet)
Baby Lyssa: a Leisure Time of an Infant Spirit (For Flute, Clarnet in A, Accordion and String quartet)
Chanting of a Mystic (For Accordion solo)
Malda (Prayer) (For Accordion and String quartet)
Homage to Louis (For two Accordions and Clarinet in in Eb)
diggin’ (For Accordion solo)
Magnetic Lines (For Accordion and String quartet)
Fragmentai Palendrių (For Accordion solo)
Teams & variations (For piccolo, Clarinet in Bb, Accordion and String quartet)
The Old One (aria pura) (For Accordion solo)
Ett hav av rör (For Flute, Clarinet in Bb, Accordion and String quartet)
quae fluctus inter mirabile (For Accordion solo)
COMPOSITIONS CREATED DURING THE COURSE:
Magnus Nyhagen Asplund
motifs on a drone / phrases and spaces (For Viola and Accordion)
explores different ways of colouring the music within three main sections. This is acheived with diﬀerent motifs developing around an organ point or drone.
Magnus Nyhagen Asplund
the Sailors sunset (For Accordion solo)
is about the associations I have with accordion music. Diﬀerent thoughts ﬂoat around in a dreamy state, mixing with each other. Both the lyric and chromatic lines are reminicent of waltz-bass like fgures, and two scandinavian folk music themes.
Glen Thomas Downie
Three Miniatures (For Accordion, Clarinet and Tuba)
Each instrument of this trio has its unique character, all of which are disjunct from each other. Likewise the character of the three movements is highly delineated, but the movements are related through similar, and often exact material reconfgured.
Pale (For Accordion and String trio)
Pale is a piece where the accordion acts as a shadow of the rest of the ensemble. The melodies from this piece come from a vocal improvisation that I recorded of myself, which were then transcribed, orchestrated, and vastly expanded upon.
Vocalise (For Accordion solo)
Vocalise, as the name suggests, is a piece that highlights the vocal qualities of the accordion. There is no deeper thought or programmatic element to this piece; it was simply an attempt to write beautiful music.
Tze Yeung Ho
å ha rom mellom neglene mine / to have rooms between my nails (For Accordion and String trio)
Fingernails are strange because they are not on most people’s minds until they paint them, have hangnails or are getting in the way of the tasks at hand. However, they symbolize pain and agony when the ﬂesh underneath is exposed. Now, imagine opening up space and building rooms beneath them.
Tze Yeung Ho
utrolig varmt vann / incredibly hot water (For Accordion solo)
‘Hot water‘ and ‘reﬂex‘ are the two key ideas which led to the creation of this piece.
Gestures and Stases (For Clarinet and Accordion)
“A basic, banal gesture, drawn out to a disproportionate scale, until it is almost static. Pared down elements of expression, with the time scale and silence turning expression into meditation.”
Spaces, Drones and Melodies (For Accordion solo and tape)
“In this piece, the accordion is combined with feld recordings from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Armenia and the UK. The material of the accordion oscillates between drones or long notes and melodies, inviting the audience’s attention to oscillate between listening to the sounds as melodies, as drones, or as indicators of a specifc place, and to draw new connections between real everyday sounds and instrumental sounds.“
Rondeau (For Violin, Clarinet, Violoncello and Accordion)
The piece could have been designed as a traditional Rondeau: ABACA. However, after a brief introduction of the main motives, the material changes quicker, and quicker and quicker, resulting in a very fragmentary piece. It’s an expressionistic work that takes the listener in high speed through a confusing roller coaster.
Canzonetta (For Accordion solo)
The focus lied on the exploring of stereo eﬀects and fnding unusual combinations in the Stradella Basses. The result is a song.
Wingel Gilberto Pérez Mendoza
Opacity of time (For Accordion and Tuba)
Every step in our lives is carried by our memories, when we go further that memories turn into carved ashes of time.
Wingel Gilberto Pérez Mendoza
A memory grained in wind (For Accordion solo)
From time to time
The clouds give rest
To the moon beholders
Matsuo Basho (1644 – 1694)
Song of LIet-SRB (For Accordion and Tuba)
The main idea of this piece is combination of diﬀerent folk music materials, it is combination of Serbian scales and rhythms with Lithuanian folk song „Dijuta kalneli“. This composition also includes some humourous fragments.
Parrot (For Accordion solo)
This compositon is combination of notated music material for accordion and composed improvisation for beatbox with whistle. Beatbox (whistle) section can be performed by accordionist or by another performer optionaly. It is my association of one parrot noises, which I heard at Raudondvaris castle, the place where this piece was composed.
Dionysian Mysteries (For Violin, Accordion and Tuba)
The Dionysian Mysteries were an Ancient Greek ritual that used trance-inducing techniques (like dance and music) to remove inhibitions and social constraints, liberating the individual to return to a natural state.
Triptych (For Accordion solo)
Triptych is in three short movements with each movement exploring the same idea; a line which is developed and eventually fades away into the ‘ether’ through the dissipation of sound into key clicks.
COMPOSITIONS CREATED DURING THE COURSE:
Dominykas Digimas – suspense
‘suspense’ is the feeling of excitement or nervousness that you have when you are waiting for something to happen and are uncertain about what it is going to be. The piece paints the variety of emotions based on the tension and feeling of freedom which is stuck purely within the phenomena of the potential. Never quite becoming, but never quite not-being.
Dominykas Digimas – a little of the ground
This piece is about the process of continued understanding and increased knowledge, where through constant observation an object or image evolves. But once you have gained an awareness that transcends traditional awareness, you find yourself understanding the image or object anew, but until that point you are a little off the ground.
This piece is based on the following quote:
In the course of a lecture last winter on Zen Buddhism, Dr. Suzuki said: “Before studying Zen, men are men and mountains are mountains. While studying Zen things become confused: one doesn’t know exactly what is what and which is which. After studying Zen, men are men and mountains are mountains.” After the lecture the question was asked: “Dr. Suzuki, what is the difference between men are men and mountains are mountains before studying Zen and men are men and mountains are mountains after studying Zen?” Suzuki answered, “Just the same, only somewhat as though you had your feet a little off the ground.”.
John Cage “A Year from Monday”
Michele Sarti – Il ponte degli aceri
This work was inspired by an ancient Chinese poem Maple Bridge Night Mooring:
“Moon set, crow cry, frost fill sky,
River maples, fisherman light, oppose anxious sleep,
Suzhou city outside, Cold Mountain temple,
Night-middle bell sound to visitor boat.”
It is a lullaby – like short piece which has no ending, a structure which we can find in Chopin’s Mazurka Op. 67 no. 4 – the final output of the Polish composer. The accordion player can repeat the piece as many times as they want, until the sound disappears, and stop whenever they feel it is the right moment, or even walk offstage playing.
This work is part of the larger scale ‘Del tacito infinito andar del tempo’ for ensemble, which explores time and space. ‘Il ponte degli aceri’ comes in just at the end and it should be performed from the back of the hall. Meanwhile the other components of the ensemble are playing very quietly a soundscape of icy sustaining.
Michele Sarti – Lighthouses – Solitude of Space
This piece is divided into three parts and each one is intended to be performed in very different ways. It begins with a state of melancholy and loneliness, in which I have imagined myself being put into a lighthouse and left there for a while, hearing the wind and the waves crashing against the surrounding rocks. The music clearly evokes a specific psychological state of mind alongside the natural sounds. In the second section we are ferried into an emotional storm where the accordion plays very high, quiet material while the muted cello’s movement is louder and more ferocious. It is only in the third part that the piece may achieve an apparent sense of stillness and perhaps, in the very last moments, peace.
Rylan Gleave – Paper Birch
The Himalayan Paper Birch (Betula utilis) has historically been used for writing Sanskrit texts and as firewood. Given the theme of forest, wood and timber to work with for the piece, my accordionist Kamila Olas and I sat down and explored various different natural themes: stars, birds, wind, trees etc., and created motifs that we both felt represented these ideas. I had an idea for some text also, after our first collaborative session, that Kamila kindly translated into Polish, her native language, to be spoken in certain parts of the piece. Working in this style has been an incredibly productive and personal experience, and I have been very fortunate to have a performer willing to work with me, presenting her own ideas, translating text and dedicating her limited free time to practice!
Rylan Gleave – Of The People
In an attempt to encompass Lithuania’s independence, as requested, the inspiration for this piece was taken from the 1918 Vilnius Conference, where the council discussed and declared the country’s dominion. Their first order of business was the future of Lithuania and its national minorities, specifically that of the Jewish and Belarusian groups.
Looking into the heritage and culture of the country and these minorities, ‘Of The People’ was written taking the history of the place and the groups into account, including staying true to the microtones involved within Native Jewish music. The traditional folk music of Lithuania, originally used for ritual purposes, is largely made up of voices, which I have tried to replicate in the accordion part with three and four part harmony. Polyphony found in both these cultures has been researched and inspirational in my engagement with this work.
Fabian Svensson – Hushed Tones
Some years ago, I was in Cortana, Italy for a couple of weeks, where I stayed at an apartment owned by the Swedish Composers Society. My intention was to write lots of music during my visit, but I ended up not getting much done (too many culinary distractions). However, I did write down a few chords that I liked, but didn’t know what to do with. Now, several years later, I wanted to finally use these chords for something, so I decided to let them serve as the basis for a solo accordion piece. The sound of the accordion turned out to be an excellent fit for my chords.
Fabian Svensson – Nothing Happens
‘Nothing Happens’ is a piece in which nothing happens. Or is it?
Joshua Brown – Mosaico
‘Mosaico’ delves into the various elements of the accordion’s soundworld that the composer and performer explored together in numerous sessions, and can be heard either as a fragmented concert extemporization, or as a conceptual recording of the collaborative process.
Joshua Brown – Double Duo
‘Double duo’ was composed as a vehicle for performers to have the freedom to explore their own instincts, amid the physical sensation of performing in a resonant space. Durations are chosen by the performers, and entries are guided by position in the score rather than being specifically prescribed. Expression of a phrase is determined by each musician’s reaction to, or inspiration from the other players.
Cong Wei – Duality
The idea of this composition has derived from a form of performance in traditional Chinese opera, that the man plays the woman’s role and vice versa. The way this form of music is performed is through dramatic contrast and becoming abandoned, like many high quality artistic works. I think every human being has a dual gender inside their body, like Yin and Yang, so in my composition I am trying to express this energy through two mainly materials. This piece was planned to be performed without bars to give the performer more free space to feel and express their delicate feelings.
Cong Wei – The Illusion
I got the inspiration for this piece from an experience in Switzerland, where I was listening to Olivier Messiaen’s ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ outside of a church with a view of the mountains, forest, clouds and the moon. In a moment I felt myself literally involved in nature and did not exist anymore, I became indivisible part of nature. Therefore, in my music I want to try to express my perception of nature in a very innocent way.
David Mastikosa – Escape
The only thing you cannot ‘Escape’ from is your personality. This has proven multiple times in many varying ways as truth. An inability to escape from one’s self sometimes is hysterically funny – ironically. When you cannot escape, you can at least thoughtfully listen!
David Mastikosa – Dimensio
‘Dimensio’ (Engl. Dimension) of a space or object is informally defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify any point within it. But, what are the musical dimensions? How we can specify musical space, objects or time? The main point of this piece is to find a personal approach to moving objects which can be defined as coordinates, and in turn, how I imagine space can be in music. This very personal experience can be metaphorically extrapolated to national identity. ‘Dimensio’ for accordion and string quartet is inspired by the Lithuanian formation of modern national identity (Lietuvos Sąjudis) and push for self-determination. The work was composed with the ‘Composers+Summer Academy’ (2017), where the theme of the course was dedicated to the upcoming centenary of Lithuanian independence. This work is dedicated to that ideal and the manifestation of modern national identity within the state.
HueyChing Chong – Introspection – intro (2017)
This is a trial piece in preparation for my first large scale accordion solo piece. I made an elaboration of the idea of musical breathing, which I explored within my accordion duo ‘Bare-bones I (2015)’. Here I explore the possibilities between the accordion’s physical breathing when performing, including the control of the bellow and my ideas of musical breathing. The sonority in this piece relates closely to one’s inner energy while performing.
HueyChing Chong – ask, and then…/ ? intro
This piece is the introductory section of a larger scale piece. The texture is very thin and directly expressed. Subtleness and the direct character of sonority are intended simultaneously. The being, or life force, of the ensemble is the result of experimentation with the use of fluid independence and fluid interdependence. Therefore, the reaction to each other’s energy is crucial within this section.
COMPOSITIONS CREATED DURING THE COURSE:
Rafael Marino Arcaro – Percussive Study
This work employs a repeating rhythmical pattern inspired by the Brazilian rhythm of “batucada”, placing it in opposition to other rhythmical patterns to create a complex rhythmical texture. The work uses clusters and triads to create its rhythmical ostinato, opposing it against short melodic lines and patterns.
Percussive Study pushes the accordionist to their limits with complex rhythmical activity that demands thorough independence of both hands; it is a true tour de force for the accordion.
Rafael Marino Arcaro – Saturno Devorando a su Hijo
“Saturno Devorando a su Hijo” is the name of a 1819 painting by Spanish painter Francisco de Goya, which depicts Saturn, the Roman god of time who, fearing he would be overthrown by one of his sons, ate each of them upon birth in a fit of rage and jealousy.
This work for accordion and string quartet is inspired by both the painting and the mythology it depicts. It is born out of a desynchronisation of musical events between accordion and string quartet that is engendered by a prolation canon in a proportion of 8 to 7 – that is, the work uses the parameter of time within the same material to create chaos within a structured compositional narrative.
Sam Cave – …the space that lies between them…
This piece searches for purity of voice. It attempts to construct textures that are externally static yet internally active and fluid, and explores soundscapes that are essentially the same and at the same time intrinsically different.
With my thanks to Pietro Roffi and my admiration to Michele Bianco.
Sam Cave – …to the same failing light…
Here the accordion and each instrument of the string quartet are considered as parts of a larger whole, a ‘super instrument’. Together they move through textures that weave, layer, join and transcend the individual parts of the ensemble. As the music rises and falls, halts, moves and changes perspective, it strives for point of distant yet intense fragility.
I am extremely grateful to Simas Tankevičius, Konrad Levicki, Ugnė Petrauskaitė, Ignė Pikalavičiūtė and Irina Serotyuk for their wonderful playing, and for bringing my music to life.
Simon Hellewell – Circadian
The silent and constantly recurring rhythms of nature, circadian rhythms dictate all biological processes that occur over the course of approximately a day, across almost all life forms. This piece is made up of multiple sections, some of which are looped, both in the music and in the score. The performer chooses the order in which these sections are played, which could be on the basis of aesthetic interests or a random preference in the moment. But upon completing a set of segments and loops, the performer must always return to begin a fresh cycle. This pattern underpins the piece, which could continue almost indefinitely with a wide range of permutations.
Simon Hellewell – Tide
At the beach, not all waves are the same size. Some are more powerful than others. Some send water rushing up the seafront, while others are pulled away by the backwash of the previous wave. This piece is formed around multiple waves of different sizes and intensities.
Leo Lehtinen – One (Best Buddies)
The title refers to another accordion piece of mine, “Best Buddies”, which I wrote earlier in 2018. In both pieces, a dialogue occurs between live accordion and electronic sounds. “One” can be heard as a dialogue between two beings, or possibly just as an interaction between pure sounds. Even though my own imagination creates a certain scene for these two elements, I have no desire to direct the listener to a specific interpretation of the piece – I believe everyone can and should draw their own conclusion. “Best Buddies” uses a tape recording, whereas “One” consists purely of sounds from the live performance.
Leo Lehtinen – Catching Air
The inspiration behind ”Catching Air” came from solo lines I wrote for string instruments. These small motifs have different qualities and create tiny moments; single thoughts that are left without full realisation. The lines collide to create waves of sound. These phrases function as something that can almost be caught, held and examined, yet remains slightly out of reach.
Lizaveta Loban – Interrupted Dance
This work is based on one of the most popular genres in the accordion repertoire – tango. In this work, tango is reworked, infused with sharp rhythms and elements of percussion.
Lizaveta Loban – Ruins of Warsaw
This dramatic piece was inspired by the story of Edi Tyrmand, a Polish woman composer. She was forced to flee Warsaw because of World War II, having lost family at home and leaving behind her quiet life.
Dominic Matthews – Breathe
My aim in writing this piece was to explore and expand from perhaps a rather clichéd technique of ‘breath tones’ in the accordion. I wished to extend this so that these sounds influence the entire structure of the work. The work develops around four musical objects. These four ideas exist separately and in collage. Their positioning throughout the piece creates a constant tension and release, similar to our own natural breathing patterns.
Dominic Matthews – Dvasia
Dvasia further explores my two current interests:the concepts of colour and time in music. The piece deals with a gradual transformation between different shades of sound, colour, dynamics, vibrato and tremolo amongst the ensemble. Each transformation subtly merges into the next so that we are presented with a shifting collage of colour. A very specific breed of virtuosity is required for this work, as it necessitates perfect communication and balance within the ensemble.
Wingel Gilberto Pérez Mendoza – Flor de Magnolia
Deep in the wood, of scent and song the daughter,
Perfect and bright is the magnolia born;
White as a flake of foam upon still water,
White as soft fleece upon rough brambles torn.
Excerpt from The Magnolia by José Santos Chocano (1867-1934)
Thank you to Sam Cave for his kind help.
Wingel Gilberto Pérez Mendoza – Piedras de Río
Water hollows stone,
wind scatters water,
stone stops the wind.
Water, wind, stone.
Excerpt from a poem by Octavio Paz (1914–1998)
Austin Scott – First Date
First Date is a piece inspired by the simultaneous anxiety and excitement of new experiences.
Austin Scott – Intrusive Thoughts
Intrusive Thoughts is a short piece about obsessive-compulsive disorder. Specifically, how negative thoughts can take over our minds and change our perception of the world around us.
Vladica Mikićević – Voices From a Lithuanian Forest
The inspiration for this work came from listening to the sound of the wind, alone in the woods. Listening carefully, I thought I could make out the sound of human voices: whispering, singing, shouting, crying. The composition has three parts. The first part conveys the whispering of the wind at the edge of the forest, which we can feel through dynamic variations from pianissimo to forte fortissimo. The second part takes us deep into the forest, where the winds are pitched in battle, a dialogue of shouts and cries. The third and final part soars high above the trees, allowing us to witness from a bird’s perspective an entire vision of the forest and its sounds.
Composition dedicated to Raimonds Ungurs.
Vladica Mikićević – Collage of Immortal Pictures
In Collage of Immortal Pictures, seven parts unite into one musical collage, rich in colour and emotion. Each picture has its own atmosphere, with a different character and tempo. The first, third, fifth and seventh pictures are slow and melancholic in character, with an emphasis on the relation in colour between accordion and strings. Pictures two, four and six are faster – suitable for dancing, with expressive rhythms and accents. The interplay between accordion and strings supports these pictures in their build-up towards the climax.