» Chamber/Solo Pieces

Chamber/Solo Pieces (up to 2005)

Ice Sculptures (2005)

violin, cello, marimba

8 min.

Ice Sculptures is essentially a study in colour and texture. The violin and cello parts are like an eye, traveling slowly over the surface of a sculpted piece of ice, and taking in the subtle transformative effects of a light source on the different angles and facets of a prismic object. The pitch material in the piece evolves gradually, passing through various textural effects in the strings, such as sul ponticello, harmonics, and different degrees of vibrato; there is an element of coldness present until the marimba enters in the middle section of the piece and introduces a new layer of colour, as well as some more rapid activity on the surface level. Although the piece requires a great deal of control to perform, it is meant to evoke in the listener a more organic process of transformation.

 

Sheet music is available through the Canadian Music Centre:

http://www.musiccentre.ca/node/32148

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Little Tango (alternate title: “Northern Tango”) (2005)

solo piano

solo piano

1 min. 30 sec.

One unique aspect of being away from a big city is being able to enjoy and appreciate nature, and one of the most beautiful and spectacular canvases on which to observe natural phenomena is the night sky. Stars and other celestial bodies are certainly more visible away from the glow of city lights, and depending on location and time of year, events such as shooting stars or the aurora borealis (northern lights) will animate the sky. This piece emerges out of a backdrop of nighttime shadows, into a colourful celestial dance.

 

 

http://www.cncm.ca/making-tracks.html

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Mahogany (2005)

three celli

8 min.

This piece was inspired by two very different musical sources: that of early 20th century Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu, and that of early 20th century Cuban bandleader and composer Ignacio Piñeiro. On the surface, these two sources of music seem disparate, but upon closer inspection, one might discover some strange similarities between the two. I was drawn to Martinu’s concept of “vertical space,” as well as to Piñeiro’s notions of rhythm and melody. Mahogany grew out of my love for the cello, and my desire to explore the richly-colored timbre of its voice.

 

Sheet music is available through the Canadian Music Centre:

http://www.musiccentre.ca/node/32149

 

Theme for Pascale Boinot (2005)

solo piano

2 min. 30 sec.

Theme for Pascale Boinot was composed for a short film, directed by Cat Mills, which was screened at Empire Granville 7 Cinemas, Vancouver, Canada, on April 28-29th, 2006. The piano part was performed by Heather Harty. The solo piano was meant to evoke something sensual and human– mirroring the dynamics between two lovers/characters in the film. I tried to keep the musical language simple yet elegant– much in the style of Erik Satie’s Gymnopédies.

Sheet music is available through Syrinx Press:

www.elizabethknudson.ca/syrinx-press

 

 

They Took Flight (2004)

violin, cello, Bb clarinet, vibraphone

4 min. 45 sec.

They Took Flight was inspired by the 100-year anniversary of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first successful flight. These pioneers of aviation first got their airplane off the ground in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17th, 1903. Although that first historic flight lasted for only 12 seconds, this piece captures the essence of that moment after leaving the ground — the freedom and sense of wonder at being propelled up into the skies.

 

 

 

Sheet music is available through the Canadian Music Centre:

http://www.musiccentre.ca/node/132925

 

Garden Gnomes (2004)

four celli

3 min. 30 sec.

 

Sheet music is available through the Canadian Music Centre:

http://www.musiccentre.ca/node/32256

 

Metro Gnomes (2004)

four celli

4 min.

 

 

 

Sheet music is available through the Canadian Music Centre:

http://www.musiccentre.ca/node/32256

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

El hongo (2003)

alto sax, cello, piano, vibraphone

3 min. 15 sec.

El hongo was envisioned as something colourful, a bit eccentric, and purely fun. The ensemble of alto sax, cello, piano, and vibraphone suggested the idea of jazz… with some unexpected Javanese gamelan phrases incorporated into the mix.

 

Sheet music is available through Syrinx Press:

https://www.elizabethknudson.ca/syrinx-press

 

The Brain (2002)

tenor voice, bass clarinet, piano

6 min. 40 sec.

‘The Brain’ was written for tenor voice, bass clarinet, and piano, with text based on a poem of the same name, by American poet, Emily Dickinson. It was premiered at Simon Fraser University Theatre (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada), in March 2003.

“The Brain—is wider than the Sky—
For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and You—beside—

The Brain is deeper than the sea—
For—hold them—Blue to Blue—
The one the other will absorb—
As Sponges—Buckets—do—

The Brain is just the weight of God—
For—Heft them—Pound for Pound—
And they will differ—if they do—
As Syllable from Sound—”

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Sheet music for this piece is available through the Canadian Music Centre:

http://www.musiccentre.ca/node/146770

 

Short and Suite (2002)

string quartet

8 min. 20 sec. (in three movements)

 

Sheet music is available through Syrinx Press:

https://www.elizabethknudson.ca/syrinx-press

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.