Wheel of Emptiness


by Jonathan Harvey

chamber ensemble of 16 players
Mixed Chamber Ensemble
1(=picc+afl).1.1(=bcl).1(=cbsn) - 1110 - perc(2): mar/2 susp.cym/3 c.bell/small bell/guiro/slide whistle/5 tpl.bl/2 wdbl/tam-t/5 button gong/crot/lion's roar - keyboard(2): pno/sampler/Emu E-Synth keyboard - 2 vln.vla.vlc.db
Commissioned by the Ictus Ensemble
First Performance
22.1.98, Lunatheater, Brussels, Belgium: Ictus Ensemble/Georges-Elie Octor

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Programme Notes
Wheel of Emptiness was commissioned by the Ictus Ensemble. Wheel of Emptiness is an attempt to reconcile flowing almost chaotic music and cool, discrete objects, which have no connection with each other, but which repeat in a repetitive pattern. 'Subjective' and 'objective' are in dialectic and ultimately transcended. From a technical point of view, the harmony is based on a modulating sequence of "equal addition compressed spectra", like my other recent works. The microtones are supported by a sampler in the ensemble which plays the spectra, usually in sea-wave patterns wheeling round and round. The Buddhist notion of "emptiness" was foremost in my mind. JH

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