soprano, clarinet and cello
Mixed Chamber Ensemble, Soprano
Praise in 21 Homages to Tara, Soname Yangchen
Commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture (a State commission), Accroche Note and Festival Musica (Strasbourg)
First Performance
21.9.02, France, Festival Musica, Strasbourg: Accroche Note

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Programme Notes
Commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture (a State commission), Accroche Note and Festival Musica (Strasbourg). CHU is a homage to the courageous and peaceful spirit of those Tibetan people who are suffering the oppression of their country and rape of their culture: and a memorial to the two million who died. Part of the traditional Praise in Twenty-one Homages to Tara is set, and as coda, a brief poem by Soname Yangchen, the singer who escaped from Tibet in a hazardous journey at night time over the mountains. The soprano sings in Tibetan: a clarinet and cello are extended into the bass region by firstly a contra-bass clarinet and secondly the detuned lower strings of the cello, tuned to low Gs. The rough low sounds correspond to the 'wrathful' aspect of this beloved and beautiful figure of Tara, in which she stamps in her dance on the destructive forces of the universe, as protector of her people. Soname Yangchen's poem takes the image of a bird (chu) to articulate an aspiration towards freedom. I am extremely grateful to her for permission to use her text and for her help with Tibetan pronunciation. Jonathan Harvey

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