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Nirmali Fenn

The Edge of Self

Accordion solo

Duration, c.10 minutes


Nirmali Fenn had already written three ensemble pieces including the accordion when Milan Osadsky asked her to create a solo work for the instrument. In The Edge of Self the composer homes in on one of the accordion’s most characteristic features — its unique capacity for producing sustained notes and note clusters. The instrument is like a huge lung in that its bellows need to expand and compress in order to manufacture sound, and this feature of compression and expansion goes into shaping the musical line. Marked by passages of extreme stillness and others that shake with the anticipation of intense activity, the piece begins highly compressed, expands towards its middle to form extremely dense chords that have accumulated many notes, and finally retreats, compressing to one note. Vibrato ‘resuscitates’ sustained notes, producing pulsating, organic forms that cannot suffer from decay. A line taken from ‘The Finding of the Moon’ by Australian poet Judith Wright serves as the music’s title.

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The Edge of Self
hh366.sol  · ISMN 979 0 708024 93 4
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