REBECCA SAUNDERS (b.1967): Blaauw for Double-bell Trumpet, Blue and Gray for 2 Double Basses, Duo for Violin and Piano, Vermilion for B Flat Clarinet, Electric Guitar and Cello, Stirrings Still for Alto Flute, Oboe, A Clarinet, Piano and Crotales.
Catalogue Number: 12K116
Reference: WER 6694 2
Description: A composer deeply concerned with the raw components of sound, Saunders is drawn to ensemble pieces like these for the opportunity 'to work closely with these individual sounds, and to engage with the physicality of the instrument'. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Blue and Gray for two 5-string contrabasses, in which rough, scraping sounds are starkly juxtaposed with a warmly contoured sound native to the instrument. Every possible nuance of the instrument's capabilities is explored, here and in Blaauw, for trumpet prepared and played in every conceivable manner. Silence is also important; Saunders finds the potency of expectant silence as integral a part of her musical vocabulary as the sounds she draws out of it, and in this context it is unsurprising to find a close link with Samuel Beckett, whose last prose text lends its title to her most recent work, the quasi-aleatoric Stirrings Still (there is no score, and each player is responsible for timing his or her own part in performance). The piece consists of subtle, unstable sounds, microtones, harmonics and overtones, a sound sculpture, constantly tending toward silence. musikFabrik. 2008 release.