'IF THAT DIAMOND RING TURNS BRASS' IS A FREE RELEASE: view the videos directly on the site.
This project is companion to the programme called 'Close your eyes and I'll close mine' that Anna McMichael and Tamara-Anna Cislowska started performing around Australia in 2012. Next to selecting a repertoire of late 19th and early 20th century lullabies, Anna McMichael, curator of the project, commissioned some composers to write new ones, forming a collection of lullabies old and new. She also asked Isabelle Vigier to create video projections for the project. Isabelle has based her work on the deconstruction of the lyrics in lullabies of various heritages. Recontextualizing words and images, she composes an abstract berceuse, around the mysteries, the fears and the peace that come with the act of falling asleep.
The australian label Tall Poppies has released the full collections of the lullabies in the original programme as a CD, including, next to the works featured on Unsounds, works by Igor Stravinsky, Robert Ashley, Graeme Koehne, Brett Dean, Elena Kats-Chernin, and Cor Fuhler.
'Close your eyes and I'll close mine' is available via Tall poppies.
Unsounds is grateful to Anna McMichael, to the composers, to Tamara-Anna Cislowska and Belinda Webster for their generous contributions.
George Enescu Chanson Pour Bercer from Impressions d’enfance pour violon et piano in D major op. 28 (1940)
Maurice Ravel Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Fauré (1922)
Peter Adriaanz Palindromes 3 (2005)
David Chisholm Axeman Lullaby (2008)
Kate Moore Broken rosary (2010)
Jean Sibelius Berceuse, op. 79. No. 6 (1917)
Andrew Ford Cradle Song (2012)
Karol Szymanowski La Berceuse D’Aïtacho Enia, Op. 52 (1925)
3/ NOTES ON THE LULLABIES
George Enescu (1881-1955) Chanson Pour Bercer from Impressions d’enfance pour violon et piano in D major op. 28, (1940)
George Enescu's Impressions d’enfance is a suite of ten pieces written in 1940 that follow a full day over 24 hours ending in sunrise. Enescu premiered this work himself, together with the pianist Dinu Lipatti. The Berceuse is the 5th tableau.
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Fauré (1922)
Ravel wrote this work as a tribute to be included in the September 1922 edition of the magazine “Revue Musicale”, dedicated to the 77 year old Fauré. In a letter to Ravel from the 15th October, 1922 Fauré spoke of his pride and joy in his former student and how touched he was by the gesture as the work was composed at a time of ill health for Ravel himself. (Orenstein, , letter 207)
Peter Adriaansz (b. 1966) Palindromes Part 3 (2005) first performed in 2012 for lullaby project
Palindrome 3 was written as part of an unfinished series of such palindromes for violin and piano. The piece consists of a sequence of homorhythmic, but slightly uneven attacks, for both instruments. In the center a reversal of the music takes place, with the violin’s pitches sliding up instead of down and the piano playing hidden residue chords which were formerly subtracted from the main chord (resulting in two attacks instead of one) - P. Adriaansz
David Chisholm (b. 1970) Axeman Lullaby (2008)
Axeman Lullaby was originally commissioned as a score by BalletLab, for a work that explored the representations of colonialism in 1970’s Ozploitation cinema. 'Axeman Lullaby' explores the nature of historical narrative construction, reflecting on cinema’s potency to shape and effect cultural memory: the sonata, then, as a musical simulacra. - D. Chisholm
Kate Moore (b. 1979) Broken Rosary (2010) arranged for violin, piano, recorded glass bead mobile, multi-tracked violin in 2012
'Broken Rosary (2010) is dedicated to my grandmother Maria Epskamp who was born on August 19, 1912 in Gelderland Netherlands. She died in Australia in 1979, the year I was born. Mum kept a box containing a few items that belonged to Oma: a tiny ring, a prayer book and Oma’s rosary, a spare few relics salvaged from her life. As a little girl I would take the ring out of the box and put it on my childish finger and then take out the rosary. Too young to know what it was I would pretend it was the necklace of a princess.
Our Sydney suburban house had no protection from the heat of the summer day and mum’s room was the coolest in the house. [...] On this day I took Oma’s rosary from the box, feeling the cold metal beads strung in fragile dainty patterns. I remember the smell of the beads. As I took the beads in my hand and twisted them around my finger the aging wire holding the beads together broke. I can remember the sound of the beads as they fell to the floor. This moment happened in slow motion. I broke Oma’s rosary.' [...] - Kate Moore
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) Berceuse, op. 79. No. 6 (1917)
Berceuse is the sixth of Six Pieces Op. 79 composed between 1915 and 1917 for violin and piano. They are the Finnish composer’s most virtuosic pieces for violin since his Violin Concerto of 1904. They were written as individual pieces over 2 years and have their own particular characters. The Berceuse has a floating and lyrical free spirit with a poignant syncopated rhythm between the violin and piano.
Andrew Ford (b. 1957) Cradle Song (2012)
Cradle Song was written in memory of the brilliant young Australian violinist Richard Pollett, who died tragically in 2012.
Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) La Berceuse D’Aïtacho Enia, Op. 52 (1925)
Szymanowski wrote La berceuse d’Aïtacho Enia for violin and piano, Op.52 in 1925. The work shows the Polish composer’s influences, such as Scriabin and Wagner and adds impressionism, Eastern influences and mystical influences. It has a lush but unsettling atmosphere and carries a very dense but rich sound world within the space of a few short minutes. The lullaby was written at St-Jean-de-Luz in the Basque country. Szymanowski was a guest of Dorota Jordan-Robinson, and the name of her villa is referred to in the title: La Berceuse d’Aitacho Enia.
Anna McMichael is an Australian born violinist who returned to live in Australia in 2010 after 17 years in Europe performing in many of the major ensembles and orchestras. Anna has performed at many European music festivals with a number of Dutch chamber ensembles and toured extensively with groups such as the London Sinfonietta, Amsterdam Sinfonietta Chamber Orchestra, Nieuw Ensemble, ASKO/Schoenberg ensemble, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and recorded for a number of European labels. In Australia, Anna has performed at 4 Canberra International Music Festivals as guest artist, been guest Associate Concertmaster of Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, guest Concertmaster of Orchestra Victoria and performs with a number of different groups as well as projects of her own around Australia. Anna is Co-Director of the Tyalgum Music Festival.
Tamara-Anna Cislowska is one of Australia’s most acclaimed and recognised pianists for both her solo and chamber performances. She has performed worldwide with repertoire from Scarlatti to Sculthorpe, and in 2012 won the Australian Art Music Award for Performance of the Year (ACT). Tamara is a regular guest of orchestras and festivals in Europe, America and Australasia, including as soloist with the London Philharmonic, the New Zealand Symphony, and all the Australian Symphony Orchestras. She was a founding member of the acclaimed Mozart Piano Quartet in Berlin, and Australia Quartet in Sydney.
Peter Adriaansz studied with Louis Andriessen, Brian Ferneyhough and Peter-Jan Wagemans. His work is characterized by a systematic, research-oriented approach encompassing sound, variability, audible mathematics and microtonal reflection. His recent large-scale Three Vertical Swells (2010) was released by Unsounds in 2013. www.peteradriaansz.com
David Chisholm has an international practice defined through diverse and hybrid collaborations for which he has won many awards internationally (including one for Axeman Lullaby). David’s work has been appeared at Venice Biennale, Edinburgh and Melbourne Festivals, and many more festivals around the world. He has been performed and recorded by contemporary ensembles and orchestras.
Andrew Ford is a composer, writer and broadcaster, and has won awards in all three capacities. His music has been played throughout Australia and in more than 40 countries around the world. A former academic, Ford has written widely on all manner of music and published several books. He has written, presented and co-produced four radio series, including Illegal Harmonies and Dots on the Landscape, and since 1995 he has presented The Music Show each Saturday morning on ABC Radio National.
Kate Moore is an Australian musician and composer of new music based in the Netherlands. Active on the international scene, Moore has had works performed by acclaimed ensembles including ASKO/ Schoenberg, The Bang On A Can All-Stars, The Amsterdam Cello Octet and Ensemble Klang and her works have been performed in major festivals. She composes and performs works combining electro-acoustic sound worlds with traditional instruments pushing the boundaries of performance practice into realms of installation and performance art simultaneously maintaining a profile in mainstream venues.
Isabelle Vigier is a visual and graphic artist based in Amsterdam. The nature of her projects ranges across the fields of dance, music, art & culture, and the publishing world. She is often a long term partner for musicians’ ensembles, record labels and theatre- and dance companies. As a visual artist she makes installations and image series next to collaborative works, often in relation to dance projects or music performances. Isabelle is co-founder of Unsounds.