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Silk Canons (1994)

Silk Canons was written in February 1994 and is a single movement piece of about 12 minutes duration. Like Respiro/Simple Ground, after which it was written, Silk Canons contains an exploration of material from my opera, Going Into Shadows. In this case the starting point is the rather opulent third scene of the opera; set in an exotic fabric shop, the scene is a sensual kind of 'born to shop' duet for two sisters.

The unexhausted possibilities of the music from that scene prompted me to compose both another short vocal piece – Silk , a setting of an erotic Chinese text – and also a short work for trumpet and piano called Silken Weave. Silk Canons is a much more ambitious elaboration of the earlier material into a series of duets for the pairs of instruments - two bass clarinets, two flutes and vibraphone and piano - and refrains for the full ensemble.

The piece was commissioned by The Seymour Group with funding support from the Performing Arts Board of the Australia Council and is dedicated to my son, Konrad, who had the happy disposition or plain good manners to delay his arrival until the day after I had finished the piece.



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