numbers 81â€“85; numbers 96â€“100
This is the catalogue page for numbers 81â€“85 and numbers 96â€“100 (published together).
numbers 81â€“85 and numbers 96â€“100 were commissioned by the Festival dâ€™Automne Ã Paris, Musica, festival international des musiques dâ€™aujourdâ€™hui de Strasbourg and Collectif Lovemusic.
The first performance was given by Lovemusic with Grace Durham (mezzo-soprano) on 1st October 2021 at the CitÃ© de la Musique et de la Danse in Strasbourg, as part of Musica, festival international des musiques dâ€™aujourdâ€™hui de Strasbourg.
numbers 81â€“85: 10 minutes
numbers 96â€“100: 8 minutes
Mezzo-soprano or Soprano. (F3 to A5)
Clarinet in A
Projection (optional but recommended)
My relationship with Numbers by Simon Howard began in 2011 when I worked with two poems from the book: numbers 76â€“80 and numbers 91â€“95. Ever since, I had the intention to set more poems from the book, to gradually form a kind of loose â€˜meta-pieceâ€™ of all 100 stanzas. The 2011 settings mark the beginning of my explorations of spoken text within my work, and were pivotal pieces for me in that respect. Ten years later, when the circumstances arose to be able to return to the book, I found that, having spent a decade working primarily with spoken text, I wanted to focus back on musical settings of text. To remember, if you like, how to compose. So these two pieces from numbers are just that â€” my attempt to get back to a more music-led setting of text, while retaining a strong relationship to the structures and ideas in Simonâ€™s work, but hopefully refracted through a musical lens.
numbers 81â€“85 is a series of five episodes, each quite different from the other. In each episode Iâ€™ve tried to distill a feeling or action from the narrative of each stanza, and illustrate it in music. In numbers 96â€“100 the fives stanzas are taken as a single form. The form of text is mirrored through the fractured pronunciation of the words, the overall idea is of a collective meditation.
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[Photo: the premiere performance in Strasbourg with Grace Durham and Lovemusic, Â© Didier Jacquot]