A Line Has Two is a large-scale sonic-literary work by Australian composer Damien Ricketson and renowned poet Christopher Wallace-Crabbe.
As well as the sounds of the voice, clarinet, marimba and vibraphone, the work includes an unusual palette of instruments including bowed-crystal glasses an Argentine bamboo saxophone, Balinese gongs and electronics. The exotic sound-world of A Line Has Two stems from Ricketsonâ€™s interest in ancient or forgotten musical cultures. The crystal-glasses allude to the tusut, an ancient Arabic instrument made of glass, as well as the glass harmonica, a once common musical instrument in the Western classical music tradition.
A Line Has Two explores themes of impermanence and the passing of time. The textual motifs of valediction and renewal that pervade the poetry are represented by musical motifs that quote two Romantic composers: Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. These materials appear throughout the music often distorted and occasionally quoted exactly.
A Line Has Two was premiered by Ensemble Offspring at the Sydney Opera House to a sell-out audience where it received a striking response:
â€œâ€¦ sounds seemed to hover in the air before they landed exquisitely in oneâ€™s ear. This work is like a wooden box of very small compartments full of delicious treats for the ears and eyes.â€ RealTime
ABOUT ENSEMBLE OFFSPRING
Ensemble Offspring is dedicated to the presentation of challenging new music. The group is known for its innovative programs, quality of performance and successful engagement of audiences. Information can be viewed at www.ensembleoffspring.org.au
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1. A Line Has Two