Echoes of Fame (2018)
Electronic Soundscape for an Exhibition
at the Grainger Museum (Parkville, VIC)
In 2018 Lewis was Composer-in-Residence at the Grainger Museum (Parkville, VIC). As part of this residency, Lewis was commissioned to compose a soundscape for an upcoming exhibition at the Grainger Museum, Objects of Fame: Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger. This exhibition showcased objects belonging to two of Melbourne's international music stars, Dame Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger, and provided an overview of their respective rises to international fame.
This soundscape features isolated samples of Melba's vocals, taken from recordings found in the National Film and Sound Archive, and combines them with resonant piano swells and disfigured piano melodies, representing the instrument Grainger is most associated with and his love of the ocean. The melodies attempt to realise a tune by Grainger that he supposedly loathed, Country Gardens, and place it within an aesthetic more appropriate to Grainger's experimentation with 'beatless' music. The soundscape itself is generative with each of the three wings of the museum containing a slight variation of the soundscape. You can use the player provided to listen to each soundscape independently or mix your own version of all three.
This player is only available on the desktop version of the website.
Click anywhere in one of the black rectangles to start one of the soundscapes. Hover over a black rectangle for audio and volume controls for that soundscape.
A Sharper Breath (2017)
Violin - Jason Neukom
Violin - Sandro Leal Santiesteban
Viola - Sean Neukom
Written for members of the Beo String Quartet as part of the 2017 Charlotte New Music Festival (NC, USA), "A Sharper Breath" is the first in a set of intended miniatures for varying configurations of string quartet. The piece is, in essence, a representation of inhaling and exhaling after hearing bad news.
Conscious Evolution (2016)
Guitar - Sophie Marcheff
Viola - Alex MacDonald
With Hidden Meaning (II & III) (2016)
Cello - Zhu En Li
Conscious Evolution showcases an interplay between melodic motifs and instrumental timbres. Both the guitar and viola have moments of prominence and moments where they pair together as a sonorous unit.
With Hidden Meaning is a solo cello work in three parts. As the composition progresses, the cello's musical material deviates from the lyrical melodies of the first part and showcases a more inward-looking exploration of timbres and textures (parts two and three).
A Storm, A City (2017) | Before The Storm
Cello - Nikki Edgar
Before The Storm is the first part of A Storm, A City. This scene depicts the muffled echoes of a distant storm resonating through Melbourne's city streets. The cello navigates the, at times, dense electronics part by progressing through a series of notated phrases and boxed notations that correspond to specific timings.
A Storm, A City (2017) | During The Storm
Cello - Nikki Edgar
During The Storm is the second part of A Storm, A City. This scene depicts the suffocating rain reflecting and pooling below Melbourne's city skyline. The electronics part has quite a clear sonic relationship to the sound of falling rain, whilst the cello gradually performs an additive phrase/melody before and after two improvised passages.
A Storm, A City (2017) | After The Storm
Cello - Nikki Edgar
After The Storm is the third and final part of A Storm, A City and features only solo cello. This scene depicts the regular frenetic pace of the city of Melbourne slowly resuming as the storm subsides. The cellist is required to perform with the bow behind the strings (playing the C and A strings) and with two bows simultaneously before returning to conventional bowing for the end of the piece.
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