Conversations (Davidson, Robert)


Sheet Music


PDF typeset by Robert Davidson
Robert Davidson (2009/1/10)

PDF typeset by Robert Davidson
Robert Davidson (2009/1/10)

Publisher. Info. Australian Music Centre
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General Information

Work Title Trio
Alternative. Title
Composer Davidson, Robert
Movements/SectionsMov'ts/Sec's 3
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 1993
First Publication. 1993
Dedication Perihelion
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Modern
Piece Style Modern
Instrumentation 1 clarinet, 1 viola, 1 cello

Misc. Comments

Conversations was composed for Perihelion shortly after returning from seven months of travel, focusing on musical study in South India and spending time in Europe and the USA. Perhaps as a result of the stimulus of this period, I found myself approaching the composition with a sense of openness, changing from my usual concern for the unity which results from reduced material. While the use of material is reduced, it stems from a wide range of sources, playfully combined. Hymns from my Methodist upbringing, Bach counterpoint, Sibelius harmony, Beatle tunes, rhythms of Kerala and countless other musics went into forming, in varying degrees, my musical intuition as it was in 1993. I attempted to allow this intuition full rein, believing that music is most successful when it accurately reflects its composer and his or her background. Rational structures serve to organise the intuitive material of the three movements. The first and third movements are simple ground-bass canons. I am attracted to this form by its neat combination of repetition and variation, simultaneously defying and satisfying expectations, and by the way the instruments copy each other and get beyond their individual concerns. In the second movement a process of ever-diminishing time intervals articulates a handful of stretched-out chords, which accompany free pattern-melodies, swapped between the instruments in conversational fashion. Surrounding the first and second movements, and in the postlude, is music of quiet simplicity. Here there is less concern for rational structure than for communication of emotion, though not without a certain distance.