Repost of Lindsay Vickery's blog about his piece "Kurui"

 

kurui [2018]

26/8/2018

kurui [2018] for bass clarinet, pian/elodica and percussion was written for a performance at the Cooroora Institute on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. The performance was part of my sub-residency within a residency by Clocked Out (Erik Griswold and Vanessa Tomlinson) at the Griffith Conservatorium in Brisbane. The institute’s name is derived from the name for possum in the Gubi Gubi language: kurui. Although it is a scrolling score the notation is relatively traditional, aiming to bridge the space between 'faithful" transcription of sound on its own terms and a more "interpretive" transcription of sound in human "musical" terms. 

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A recurring motive is the distinctive grunt and repetitive "huffs" of the Queensland possum.

In these examples spectrograms of possum sounds are aligned with the notation to demonstrate the approach. Despite the "noisiness" of the possum sounds - significant pitch components are also evident and these are transcribed into pitched material particularly for the piano/melodica and bass clarinet. The contours of prominent pitched components were initially sketched directly onto the spectrogram and then "lifted-off' and adapted into a more traditional notational framework.

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The characteristic screech emitted by the possum is transcribed for melodica and bass clarinet multi phonic. Other lower pitched noises are orchestrated by percussion and mid-range glisses by piano.

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A variety of grunts and short squeals are also transcribed.

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The work ends with the repetitive huff/clicks of the possum. Some of the prominent pitched content is highlights on bass clarinet and melodica.

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