Melbourne-based composer, performance-maker and clarinettist Aviva Endean presents a solo recital for clarinet, bass clarinet, masks, objects and ancient whistles in a compelling program featuring works by Endean, Blecharz (POL/GER) and Ambrosini (IT).
The idea of a ‘Counter-Earth’ is the pre-Socratic belief that there is another planet orbiting a ‘central fire’ exactly 180 degrees from our own, so that it may never be seen from Earth. In Wojtek Blecharz’s work, commissioned by Aviva for BIFEM 2015, he takes this idea to allude to alternate forms of reality and parallel experiences, by exploring seemingly disparate resources including Wikipedia quotes, poetic images from Dante’s Inferno, news reports from Aleppo, an ancient Aztec death whistle, You tube audio files and samples of an artillery shell being stuck as if it were a bell.
Endean’s unusual and playful video work, presents a different take on parallel experiences, exploring the intimacy of the personal experience within a collective activity. ‘A face like yours’ invites the audience to take part in a sonic exploration of their own face, each action ‘amplified’ by inserting foam earplugs into their ears.
The three clarinet works on the program, evoke other worlds as they explore the elusive harmonic and timbral possibilities of the clarinet. Ambrosini’s ‘Capriccio’ shows a masterful and sensitive use of the fragile, hidden sounds of the bass clarinet, while Endean’s ‘Solo for Skin and Air’ creates a sense of illusion as the flexible skin of the timpani merges with the sound of the clarinet. At once placid and terrifying, Endean’s ‘Masked solo’, is a seemingly endless drone played on one breath, inviting us to meditate on the substance and power of sound.