Duality, comprising Alicia Crossley (recorder) and Emily Granger (harp), recently toured with a new work or mine. It was premiered as part of a program of new works by Australian composers, various transcriptions and arrangements as well as Peter Hope’s Birthday Concerto and Debussy’s Danse sacrée et danse profane.
My new work treetops/rooftops was in many ways searching for a type of musical ‘duality’ of sorts. The program note is below:
treetops/rooftops is a piece about searching for, and finding a space for solitude, reflection and calm. The majority of the piece focuses on unrelenting rising musical ideas played in unison by the duo. These frantic lines, like escaping ladders, are explosive and noisy but seem futile. Here, the harp (itself a sort of ladder of stepped notes) and recorder are treated percussively and as one. Out of this, the destination of the piece is finally reached. Here, it is much quieter with perhaps the occasional birdcall, rustle of the leaves and the distant hum of the city the only sounds to be heard.
Below is the recording from the concert at the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House, 9/10/2015:
A great review of the concert can be found here.
A snippet of the review:
Tristan Coelho’s Treetops/Rooftops aims to subvert the gentle stereotypes of both these instruments, using a range of preparations to distort the familiar sonorities of the harp and recorder into a more exotically percussive spectrum. Coelho’s expert control of colour and timbre yields a surprising scope of different tones, giving the music a patina of alien complexity, while using rhythmic simplicity and repetition to luxuriate in this bizarre, yet highly effective palette.