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Copeland Concerts

I have been fortunate in having some of my 'experimental music' being performed at various places. My string quartet was broadcast over the radio throughout Australia, and I have had music performed in Germany and Italy.

These Real Audio files are one minute excerpts from actual concerts.

Composition Comments Real Audio
Continuum for six This was the first composition that I ever had performed in concert. The piece is written for six percussionists and is a completely graphic score. There is not one notated note. The piece was performed at the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria. Real Audio
Dance This piece was created on the Fairlight CMI (Computer Music Instrument). A tympani and a high xylophone both have melodic lines that are out of syncopation with each other. Real Audio
String quartet This piece was written in memory of the people who died in the Vietnam war. Although the quartet was performed by professional symphony orchestra musicians, they were threatening not to play the piece as they did not fully understand the musical score. The score is a graphic one. Pages are shuffled before a performance and each player plays without relating to the other players. Real Audio
Utopia This piece is written for piano, clarinet and flute. The first movement is rhythmically complex as each player is playing at a different tempo. The score is notated thoughout. Real Audio

The following pieces were performed in a concert that I presented called "Copeland presents Copeland". Perhaps as a result of this concert I was fortunate enought to receive a composition grant from the Australian Council of the Arts, Music Board.

To quote from the program notes :-

"As the avant guarde scene is in some ways a parallel musical culture, it is faily obvious that the fashionable concert promotion and it's 19th century memories are not suited to Paul Copeland's creativity. This accounts perhaps for the composers apparent lack of exposure. However, the function of this concert is in some ways a means of projecting some of his ideas across the footlight. In this way it may be considered a retrospect exhibition."
Composition Comments Real Audio
Stereophony Stereophony is an attempt to demonstrate the existence of a line of demarcation which exists between electronic music and instrumental music. The percussionist's part moves randomnly from free improvisation to strict note serialization. The rhythm is mainly aperiodic, but where the logic demands, a rhythmic cell is used to give coherence to the structure. The electronic sounds are organically functional and exist for their own intrinsic value; nevertheless they are simultaneously dependent on, and independent from the live sounds. This dual function creates for the listener a 'sound complex' which is continuously changing. Real Audio
Piano piece one This piece is very difficult technically and is styled after the piano pieces of Stockhausen. It took me almost 2 years to find someone willing to accept the challenge to learn the piece. Two distinct musical styles are evident:
  1. Pointillism: Each bar (lettered pages) is of a different duration. Each note, excluding grace notes, has a different dynamic.
  2. Free improvisation (numbered pages) with colouristic effects. A special effect is chosen (staccato, repeated note, harmonic, plucking etc) and is freely worked out for the duration of the page.
Real Audio
Envelopes This piece is written for one to three woodwind. This performance was for flute and electronics. It is a graphic score. There are six pages which may be played in any order. Choice of pitch is free, and the activity envelopes are approximations only. 'Non-musical' sounds such as whistling, hissing, glottal stops are included. Real Audio
Vibraphony This piece is written for 2 vibraphones and recorded tape. Although both players play an identical score, they each play at a different tempo, giving rise to very interesting out of phase effects. The performers wore headphones and listened to a click track so that their timing would be precise. Real Audio
Quarter tone study for guitar This piece is a musical mobile for guitar. The sixth, fourth and second strings are tuned a quarter tone higher than normal. Rhythmical complexity is avoided, and there is a predominance of 2 and 3 part chords. The performer has ample opportunity for improvisation. Real Audio

Paul Copeland Paul Copeland

Last updated on Wednesday 1 September 1999

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