This work is the second in an ongoing group of works called the Recitation Series. A recitation was a traditional means of story telling in Newfoundland and Labrador for a very long time. The material could have been brought from a number of sources (poetry, essays, ballades, or other literary forms), but it was almost always a piece of rhymed prose. Performing a recitation was valued just as highly as singing, or playing an instrument, and with these works I take the essense of the recitation and create a work for a solo instrument.The music will always draw some influence from Newfoundland and Labrador culture (in this case the familiar sounds of a whale's song, as well as the folk song), and be composed in a way to mimic the techniques of a performer telling a story.
This work utilizes a wide variety of extended techniques, such as multi-phonics, flutter tongue, breathing through the instrument, vibrato speed, and vocalizations. These techniques come together to impersonate or imitate a whale's song.The character of the work should have a flowing and energetic persona.
The work has sections which have no bar lines and those with a more rigid time value.When playing a passage with no bar lines, the music is to be very open and free. This is usually a time to really showcase the whale’s vocalizations. When a more specific time value or rhythm is indicated, it is less free, and more precise. It is here that the music incorporates a Newfoundland folk song called Whaling Song.
The song appears from measures 5 to 21 and again from 47 to the end.There are also motivic elements used throughout the piece which originate from the very beginning: the pitches B-A-E chosen to represent the french word for whale (baleine). The sung notes are written in bass clef, but could be transposed within a comfortable range suitable to the performer.
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