International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester
10th birthday commission for trio Atem
Nina Whiteman, mezzo soprano
Gavin Osburn, flutes
Alice Purton, violoncello
perform the WP of my work
HER VERY NOISE, HER GUISE (2017)
for mezzo soprano, bass flute and violoncello
[text by Pia Palme]
together with works by Mic Spencer, Gavin Osborn, Elizabeth Ditmanson, Rob Corrin, Nina Whiteman.
This work is written along the mechanisms of perception and listening, as observed by the composer during her process of working. The vocal part features fractured voice personalities: in a very personal way, Pia Palme re-composes ficticious inner and outer soundscapes. Intimate thoughts are voiced, hidden voices become audible, the “space between her ears” is amplified and appears as a noisy counterpart to the singing voice. In a format that draws on the baroque bass continuo structure, the solistic vocal part contrasts the cello part, with the bass flute hovering in between: the flute merges the flow of breath, articulation (an activity that connects to the speaking voice and happens in one’s mouth, in one’s body cavities) and instrumentality. Palme’s English and German text reflects on how perception, dreams, and imagination are fired by a deep longing to connect to the world.