After the Storm

solo clarinet & string octet

9 min.

——-
“The air is full of after-thunder freshness,
And everything rejoices and revives.
With the whole outburst of its purple clusters
The lilac drinks the air of paradise.

The gutters overflow; the change of weather
Makes all you see appear alive and new.
Meanwhile the shades of sky are growing lighter,
Beyond the blackest cloud the height is blue.
An artist’s hand, with mastery still greater
Wipes dirt and dust off objects in his path.
Reality and life, the past and present,
Emerge transformed out of his colour-bath.

The memory of over half a lifetime
Like swiftly passing thunder dies away.
The century is no more under wardship:
High time to let the future have its say.
It is not revolutions and upheavals
That clear the road to new and better days,
But revelations, lavishness and torments
Of someone’s soul, inspired and ablaze.”
——-

After the Storm, for string octet and clarinet, was inspired by a colourful poem of the same name, by Boris Pasternak. The piece was commissioned as part of the HER Projected online festival, presented by all-female ensemble, Allegra Chamber Orchestra. The work received its premiere online on June 26th, 2021, (recorded earlier at the Orpheum Annex, Vancouver), featuring Michelle Goddard- clarinet, with members of Allegra Chamber Orchestra, directed by Janna Sailor.

Sheet music is available through the Canadian Music Centre:

http://musiccentre.ca/node/154194

https://soundcloud.com/ejknudson/after-the-storm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJOZo2JExc8&t=858s&ab_channel=AllegraChamberOrchestra

Alchemy

horn, cello & piano

~20:15

Alchemy was conceived as a trio for horn, cello, and piano, in three movements. The three-part structure was inspired by the three stages of the medieval alchemical process– attempting to turn base metals into gold, or the ‘elixir of life’: 1: corruption/dissolution, 2: purification (linked to the moon and femininity), and 3: enlightenment/sublimation (linked to the sun and masculinity). The horn introduces a short theme in the first movement, which is then transformed through seven variations– seven being the number of metals involved in the alchemical process. The second movement is slow, sensuous, and lyrical, drawing inspiration from jazz tonalities, as well as from the delicate raindrop-like sound and polyrhythmic patterns of the kora (west African harp). The third movement brings the piece to a bright, rhythmically intense culmination.

-Commission funded in part by the Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Program of the International Horn Society

-2nd movement premiered by Oliver de Clercq- horn, Zoltan Rozsnyai- cello, and Chris Morano- piano, at the Sonic Boom Festival, Western Front, Vancouver, 25 March 2012

-full piece (all 3 mvts) premiered by Oliver de Clercq- horn, Ariel Barnes- cello, and Rachel Iwaasa- piano, at St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Vancouver, 20 May, 2012

Sheet music is available through the International Horn Society:

http://www.hornsociety.org/marketplace/online-library#!/~/product/id=18634910