Honey Gathering Song (1989/1999)

for elastic scoring (2 birbynes or flutes or oboes or clarinets, harpsichord or fortepiano or piano, with or without string trio)

Date transcribed: 2013
Dedicated to Darius and Neringa
Requested by Darius Klisys
Duration: c. 8'30"

Programme note

Honey Gathering Song was originally composed in 1989 as a piece for dance (choreographed by Gill Clarke and titled For the Off). Revising it in 1999 as a concert piece I expanded the more interesting material and scrapped what seemed less interesting. I approached the traditionally problematic medium of flute and piano by integrating the two instruments through the use of almost identical material and by bringing their timbres as close together as possible in interlocking or heterophonic textures. Pieces with the title Honey Gathering Song can be found among the music of the pygmy communities in Central Africa. While I make use of African materials and compositional techniques, generally filtered or paraphrased, there is no direct reference to pygmy music in this piece. The revised version was premiered in Grahamstown, South Africa in 2000 by Anne Laberge and Michael Blake. A version for two soprano birbynes and harpsichord was made at the request of Darius Klysis for Ensemble Reversio, who premiered it on 7 September 2013 in the Marijampole Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lithuania. The final elastic version was made for the Second Medynes Festival and premiered in Marijampole on 8 October 2016.