Muses Trio celebrated International Women’s Day 2021 and their 9th season together with HOMEGROWN: striking new world premieres written recently for the Muses Trio by Australian women composers. These tiny seedlings were planted from spring 2019, and carefully nurtured and tended over the following seasons. Some bloomed and were harvested last summer, others blossomed and were plucked fresh from the vine only a few weeks before the first performance. What a celebration of HOMEGROWN talent from across Australia: Sally Greenaway (ACT), Elena Kats-Chernin (NSW), Nicole Murphy (QLD), and Natalie Nicolas (NSW). Thank you to the School of Music, University of Queensland, for hosting us in their Lunchtime Concert Series.
Le Parc Monceau is inspired by the public park in Paris, France, which opened in 1891. It was a popular destination for impressionist painters, especially Monet who painted several scenes there, each characterised by their fleeting impressions of goings on in the park, with subtle interplay between light and shadow.
These characteristics are important elements which Greenaway has attempted to capture in the music. There is a strong focus on interplay between the instruments, and musical colour is explored with harmonics, pizzicato, tremolos and extensive use of the pianos pedals. The performers are stretched in their command of soft playing, with several sections in the piece asking for a tranquil and glasslike timbral effect from the strings, and muted soft pedal from the piano. Other sections ask for shimmering and glistening effects with tremolo strings and pulsating piano arpeggios. Overall, the piece is a delightful study in detached observation of a public garden ‘painted’ with sound.
Le Parc Monceau [World Premiere], Sally Greenaway, commissioned by Michael and Mary Tatchell.
Pearl [World Premiere], Nicole Murphy, commissioned by Vicki Brooke
Music for Calm & Catharsis [World Premiere], Natalie Nicolas
Solitudes [World Premiere], Elena Kats-Chernin, commissioned by Alex and Mary Milanovic