for viola & cello
Composed for Harry Swainston
First performance: 6 Dec 2021
Performed at the ANAM Set Festival by
Harry Swainston (viola) and Nadia Barrow (cello)
“That which flows “ is the literal interpretation of the Italian title. This short duo for viola and cello is inspired by the natural world and its ceaseless motion. Rivers, creeks, rain water, ocean currants, the flux of wind and seasonal change are all part of the ever present cosmic motion. This ceaseless movement finds other resonances in seasonal progressions, growth and change, darkness and light, as well as the personal flows and changes in our own lives and relationships. The music flows all the time - it is sometimes moving simultaneously both fast and slow - at a surface tempo and a deeper movement of tempo underneath. The piece also progresses in waves - each leading to an apex point of high music for the viola, which grows out of material featuring the C string of both instruments, just as a plant or tree progresses from its subterranean roots to aerial flowering.
It is dedicated to Harry Swainston and Nadia Barrow - who were able to work on it together during these current dark days of lockdown - two wonderful young musicians. Thank you to Nick Bailey and the ANAM team who conceived and brought this delightful project to fruition.
About the composer:
Victorian Opera’s Artistic Director Richard Mills, AM, is an internationally recognised composer pursuing a diverse nation-wide career as conductor, artistic director, and advisor. Having conducted all of Australia’s major symphony orchestras and opera companies Richard also has an extensive discography of orchestral compositions, including his own works.
In 2021 Richard conducted The Pearlfishers, Voss (Meale) and two new commissioned works: Butterfly Lovers for Victorian Opera and a new Christmas oratorio for Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
Richard’s commissioned works include concertos, symphonic works, ballet and chamber music, song cycles and his operas, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Batavia and Love of the Nightingale. He is currently a Senior Fellow, Faculty of Music, University of Melbourne and Adjunct Professor of Music, University of Queensland Research.
More info: http://richardmills.net.au/
Photo by Charlie Kinross