Hourglass gets its full premiere

A few weeks ago on one her whirlwind trips to Sydney, Nicole Canham premiered my new piece Time Flies When You’re Having Fun for tàrogatò and electronics at the Australian Institute of Music in the Composition Seminar there.

Nicole commissioned it as both a standalone piece, as well as being a part of her larger, immersive multimedia work Hourglass which is being premiered in Mexico City in two sold-out performances this weekend. For Hourglass, Nicole commissioned a range of composers and video artists from Australia and Mexico (you can see in the image above the work of Australian Sarah Kaur) in putting together this exploration of our experiences of time – I also got to produce and mix a recording of Without Time, the gorgeous piece by Elena Kats-Chernin for multilayered clarinet that’s also featured in the program.

My little bit of Hourglass was partly inspired by a review I read of the work of video artist Pipilotti Rist in the The New Yorker where art critic Peter Schjeldahl wrote that “Her pop cultural affinities don’t unite high and low so much as make them seem like interchangeable engines of pleasure.” I liked this description so much – and it chimed so well with the way I think about and work with music – it became a kind of manifesto for the piece, and prompted the title as I began to discuss the themes of the Hourglass project with Nicole.

I tried to keep my approach to the work playful and joyous, taking samples from recordings of Nicole playing the tárogató to make all of the sounds in the electronic part, and imagining Nicole dancing as she played the live part, lost in a state of ‘flow’.

1 Comment

  1. Dear Mr. Crawford,

    I am a professional tarogato player, living in the UK and performing Internationally. In 2005 I was invited to represent the UK at the International Tarogato Congress in Vaja, Hungary during which time I lectured, gave recitals and toured Hungary with the International Tarogato Ensemble.

    On my return to England I formed the Rakoczi Duo with pianist Karen Newby to promote the tarogato with composers and performers alike. I also formed the British Tarogato Association to guide people in their search for information on this wonderful instrument. Since then, I have been invited to lecture at the International Wagner Symposium held in the UK during 2006 where I spoke of the use of the tarogato in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. I have also been invited back to Hungary for the 2010 International Tarogato Congress where I gave lecture-recitals on the new works which have been written for me. I also premiered Thorn-Trees by Australian composer and close friend, Brigid Burke.

    I would very much like to perform your “Time Flies when you’re having fun” and I would be most grateful if you could make contact with me, informing me of the cost of sending the score and performing material to me in the UK.

    My email address is: mbntarogato@hotmail.co.uk
    my website is http://www.marcbnaylor.com
    and the British Tarogato Association website is http://www.britishtarogatoassociation.com

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Very best wishes,

    Dr. Marc B. Naylor D.Mus.; FTCL; AGSM; L.Mus.A.; Cert.GSMD(P)

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