Feigning Freedom Credits and Program Notes



Declan Postlethwaite
Jingyuan (John) Li
Anne Hsuyin
Victor Arul


The Composite Monarchy

Semra Lee-Smith - Violin

Imagined Communities

Tutors from the 2020 National Music Camp

On 'The Canterbury Tales'

Ashley Smith - Clarinet

Music That Goes

Bridget Bourne - Xylophone/ Glockenspiel
Justin Zheng - Marimba 1
Oscar Tudge - Marimba 2
Aditya Bhat - Vibraphone

Program Notes

Notes provided by composers.

The Composite Monarchy – Victor Arul

This piece is named after H.G. Koenigsberger's conceptualisation of the 'composite monarchy'. A composite monarchy is an entity in which a political state can be conceptually partitioned into several countries under the control of a single ruler.

The connection between this concept and my piece is only established by the fact that I was interested in this concept whilst creating the piece. With this in consideration, the concept itself has no direct representation within my piece, but my memory of studying the 'composite monarchy' as a concept is personally embedded within the creation of this piece.

In terms of the soundworld of the piece, one might want to listen to how a spectrum of violin techniques are employed in coordination with a linear sense of intensity throughout the piece.

Everything Around Me – Anne Hsuyin

When the noise of the world becomes too much, close your eyes and breathe.

This is a work about hyperawareness and overstimulation. Commissioned by Science Gallery Melbourne for "MENTAL" (2021).

Imagined Communities – Victor Arul

The work was written following a semester of studying Australian foreign wars at the University of Western Australia. A topic I was writing on was Asian decolonisation during the Cold War. As a consequence, Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism became a source that grew close to me as a theoretical framework to understand this potion of history. In particular, I was intrigued by how it delineated that a sense of belonging and distinct nationality is a driving force for the related events.

Amongst many things, Anderson postulates the concept of the 'imagined community', in which members of a community hold a mental image of their affinity which establishes deep connections with other members, yet these members do not have to know each other personally or be remotely similar. I have embedded this concept within my piece on a philosophical level.

Listeners should note the switches between modernist soundworlds such as micropolyphony, non-functional tonalities, microtonality, and serial techniques, and the allusions at the outset and conclusion of the piece to the galant soundworlds of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K.254 and Domenico Scarlatti’s K.104. Furthermore, listeners may find appreciation in the sharp juxtapositions of fast, loud sound worlds with soft, slow sound worlds. These facets demonstrate a deviation from a traditional stylistic synthesis. This is analogous to the diversities contained within imagined communities; superficially different yet all bound.

Etude No. 1 – Declan Postlethwaite

This Etude was made in response to the needs of my own piano students and my personal distaste for a more musical way to practice technical skills on the instrument. The piece aims to be both musically and technically engaging; working on arpeggios and a flow like motion between the two hands.

Spring – Jingyuan (John) Li

This is an orchestral piece for the ScoreRelief2021 competition. I decided to do a marathon composing session and plan to finish the project within three days just as an intensive exercise for myself. The story is set in a fantastic world of a little girl looking to initiate the beginning of spring season from a cold winter. Music inspired by Ori and the Will of the Wisps. If you haven’t played this game, you definitely should!

On 'The Canterbury Tales' – Victor Arul

The piece’s title refers to Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (c.1400). Many regard these tales to be distinctive examples of proto-'short stories'. Aspects of my piece are related to the ideas of liminal space present in the tales, especially the ways in which pilgrimage, both literal and metaphorical, is represented as an emotional journey. These liminal spaces occur in the sense of travellers going from London to Canterbury, but also in the sense that the travellers within the tales undertaking their journeys hope to become more emotionally sound by the end of it. My piece makes reference to ironic and subversive attitudes adopted throughout the narrative.

The tales, both in modern and old English, can be found here.

Music that Goes – Declan Postlethwaite

'Music that Goes' is a light-hearted piece that was inspired by minimalist composers such as Reich, Glass and Riley. The work takes the core concepts of repetition and rhythmic cells and merges them with my own musical aesthetics to create something new and interesting.

Big thanks to the wonderful performers Bridget Bourne, Justin Zheng, Oscar Tudge and Aditya Bhat for their amazing performance!

It's a Matter of Content – Victor Arul

This piece is a short collage featuring basic ideas of additive synthesis reminiscent from Elektronische Musik output from the 1950s, and quotations of (among other things) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Oboe Quartet, CĂ©sar Franck's Violin Sonata, and Olivier Messiaen's La NativitĂ© du Seigneur. The aim of this piece was to sustain a large plethora of synthesised materials within an architecture spanning exactly three minutes and to engage these materials in a rhetoric shaped by the superimposed quotations. Listeners might notice how the affects propelled by the three quotations are highly contrasted in order to emphasise juxtaposition as a primary means for establishing musical drama.

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