Two Interludes for an Opera


chamber ensemble of 22 players with live electronics
Electronics with Live Performers, Mixed Chamber Ensemble
1(=picc.).1.2(I=A+Bb, II=A,Bb,bcl).1(=cbsn) - 1111 - perc(2): mar/crot/guero/2 BD/2 gongs(c20", c24"))/mcas/rainstick(for trumpet)/tam-t/2 tibetan bells (slung)/t.bells/spring coil/vibraslap/glass chimes(small)/bamboo cluster(med-high)/mark tree/2 susp.cym/snare drum/4 wdbl/4 tom-toms/3 bowls/2 light, high drums of skin or thin wood for fingers - harp - electronic keyboard - strings: ( - Electronics (3 or 2): 8 or 6 channel system/digital mixer/1 or 2 Mac computers with soundcards/Wacom Graphic Tablet/16 MIDI faders/Clip-on mics for all instruments and several close mics for percussion/CD Rom of patches and cue list in MAX/Msp
Commissioned initially by Sinfonia 21 with funds provided by the Gulbenkian Foundation, subsequently by the London Sinfonietta with funds provided by Arts Council England.
First Performance
17.03.04: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London: London Sinfonietta/Martyn Brabbins

Score and parts available for hire.

CD-Rom available from the Hire Library (

Programme Notes
TWO INTERLUDES FOR AN OPERA These Interludes appear in my opera Wagner Dream, and were the first sections of the opera to be composed. The opera is based on the moment of Wagner's death. It is a moment that contains thoughts about the Buddha, and Wagner's opera project on the beautiful legend of Prakriti - the humble peasant girl - and Ananda - Buddha Shakyamuni's cousin and disciple. Wagner's last words as he was writing an essay, when interrupted by his fatal heart attack, were ruminating on this legend. The first interlude is the heart attack and the journey Wagner's mind takes immediately after, through the Clear Light, through the 'thousand thunders'. In buddhism, the state of mind at death is crucial for determining the nature of future existence. The second interlude is placed at the moment in the story where Prakriti's attraction to Ananda begins to show itself openly, Ananda responding despite himself. A wide range of live electronics is used, as well as some recorded sound. Each instrument can be and at times is treated with electronics, individually, polyphonically or in groups. The electronics were realised with the invaluable programming and help of Carl Faia. Funding for research into electronic treatments was generously provided by the Gulbenkian Foundation and Arts Council, England. The work was commissioned by the London Sinfonietta.

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