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Mordacious Lips, To Dust

Mordacious Lips, To Dust
Für vier SängerInnen (soprano, countertenor, tenor, bass)
Beteiligte Personen (Text)
Palme Pia
Neue Musik
Sprache (Text)

Sopran (1), Countertenor (1), Tenor (1), Bass (1)

Art der Publikation

Part I und Part II

"In Part I the soprano performs a virtuosic solo part, which is written to highlight the soprano voice – whilst the three male voices provide a shifty microtonal background of hushed activity. In Part II all four singers perform a microtonal partsong together, ending with the whispered word Staub (German for dust).

In the text for this work, I discuss the category ‘beauty’ from an artistic perspective. For me beauty is represented in texts, words, music, artwork… I was never interested in beauty, or beautiful appearance, as a woman. Why should I care about visual beauty, fashion, shoes or a hairstyle? That’s a prison to keep you busy in (I cite the Austrian author Elfriede Jelinek here). As a composer, I appear through my works, in this case, compositions. My text was inspired by the Mexican author Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz; she argued along the same line, as a writer, in the Baroque period.

In the title of my work:
…the adjective mordacious makes reference to the irate female voice permeating the composition. As a composer, I pay homage to Homer’s epos Iliad, which begins with the Ancient Greek word for wrath, summoning a female voice to sing about the fury that caused warfare and bloodshed
(‘The wrath, goddess, sing…’).

The baroque ornament mordent is frequently used in this piece to enhance singular notes in the soprano part. I wanted to compose a quick and subtle aural accent, which might cause an aural twinkle that would cut, bite or sting through the mechanisms of listening, to open up a glimpse of another dimension. The text for the soprano summons the thorns of a rose, shards of glass, or the penetrating power of love and madness to punctuate reality and skin.

Etymologically, the words mordacious and mordent originate from the same source, the Ancient Greek term σμερδαλέος ‘smerdaleos’ — painful, horrible. One could go further back to the ancient Indo-European ‘(s)merd’ — to bite, to sting. The German word ‘Schmerz’ — pain is also connected to this origin, as well as the English term smart. As a feminist composer, I find these connections stimulating."
Pia Palme (2015)

17. Oktober 2015 - London, The Warehouse
Mitwirkende: EXAUDI Ensemble - Juliet Fraser (Soprano), Tom Williams (Countertenor), Stephen Jeffes (Tenor), Simon Whiteley (Bass), James Weeks (Leitung)
Veranstaltung: EXAUDI EXPOSURE2015
Weitere Informationen: The composition was further supported by the Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien Musik and the BKA Austria. Composed for the ensemble EXAUDI in a longer process during 2014/15, as part of the Sound and Music Portfolio Project. The composition won the George Butterworth Prize 2016.

Plattform: SoundCloud
Herausgeber: palmeworks
Datum: 27 Oktober 2015
Mitwirkende: EXAUDI Ensemble

Empfohlene Zitierweise
mica (Aktualisierungsdatum: 9. 2. 2021): Palme Pia . Mordacious Lips, To Dust. In: Musikdatenbank von mica – music austria. Online abrufbar unter: https://db20.musicaustria.at/node/192990 (Abrufdatum: 28. 5. 2024).