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Type: Creative work
Title: Looking at the Stars (for children’s choir, large chorus and orchestra)
Author: Koehne, G.
Publisher: Sydney Youth Orchestra
Publisher Place: Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Issue Date: 2012
Description: “Looking at the Stars” was commissioned by Ars Musica Australis for the Sydney Youth Orchestra. The brief for this commission specified a work of an optimistic and uplifting nature suitable for young performers and singers. The work is approximately 17’ in duration and scored for children’s choir with large chorus and orchestra. The text is a single phrase from Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windemere’s Fan. This work is one of several recent pieces in which the aesthetic rationale and the harmonic, melodic and rhythmic elements of the musical language are informed by Koehne’s interest in the areas of Music Cognition and Evolutionary Musicology (a sub-field of Evolutionary Psychology). From this research he has formed an artistic position based on the somewhat unfashionable notion of music as, first and foremost, a language: an act of communication (and a social activity) rather than an acoustic phenomenon. As such, music requires a commonly accepted vocabulary, grammar, syntax and structure. To this end, a number of his recent works employ a radically simplified harmonic language underpinning clear phrase structures and accessible melodic and rhythmic patterns. The resulting pared down musical language shares much in common with early Minimalist music but the emphasis in this case is on expressiveness achieved through the primacy of melody (the musical equivalent of a sentence) rather than aesthetic purity and objectivity asserted through limitation of materials and repetitive process. This approach represents a reassessment and reinvigoration of familiar materials and techniques within a cultural context that has decisively rejected many of the orthodoxies that informed late Twentieth Century “Classical” music within the academic tradition. Looking at the Stars was premiered at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on March 21 2012. It had a subsequent performance at the Chatswood Concourse, Sydney, on June 3 2012.
RMID: 0030014929
Appears in Collections:Music publications, scores & recorded works

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