This Year's Apocalypse


chamber ensemble of 14 players
Mixed Chamber Ensemble
Instrumentation - 1010 - perc(1): BD/tam-t/cym/wdbl/c.bell/rototoms - pno - 2vln.vla.vlc.db

Written for the Verbrugghen Ensemble, ensemble in residence at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

First Performance
4.10.2016, Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney, NSW, Australia: Verbrugghen Ensemble/John Lynch

Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes
It seems that every year we hear of some disaster that is soon to wipe humanity from the face of the earth.  In my lifetime, I can think of global warming, global cooling, the destruction of the ozone layer, nuclear war and nuclear winter, chemical and biological weapons, Y2K, GM foods, religious terrorism, neuroweapons, artificial intelligence, asteroid collision, Gamma Ray explosion, destruction of the universe through the CERN Hadron Collider, global overpopulation, plastic pollution destroying the oceans, SARS, AIDS, the Zika virus and even the Rapture.
The human race is still with us. And hopefully despite humanity’s compulsion with the possibility of us ceasing to exist, we will continue.
In This Year’s Apocalypse I have taken ideas of apocalypse and large-scale disaster and shaped them musically throughout the ensemble. Instrument families mostly work together in groups or as an entire unit, in addition to soloistic features here and there.  To add some ‘real life’ elements, I have graphed the numbers of nuclear weapons on the planet combined with the number of HIV infections across the planet and converted the shape into a series of notes. This forms the basis of much of the harmony in the piece, the intention being that it may be suitably terrifying.
There is a featured section in the middle of This Year’s Apocalypse for solo horn.  The horn part represents in individual in the midst of all the ensuing chaos, gloom and doom, living their life and even experiencing human emotions, such as love, tenderness and compassion.
© Matthew Hindson, 2016

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