Falling By Degrees
for violin and piano (2009)
duration: 18’
GRT • 143

audio sample available soon

CD available
800 Million Heartbeats
Justine Cormack, Sarah Watkins

ABC Classics

score available from
Australian Music Centre

program note
I: Meteor
II:
Snow
III:
Parachute
IV:
Apple
V:
Anchor
VI:
Stockmarket
VII:
Night

These seven miniatures are concerned with the theory of gravity and the resultant phenomenon of falling. This is reflected in the music in a number of ways. The first five movements are concerned with objects that fall to Earth from a great distance, starting with
Meteor, then Snow, Parachute and (closer to the ground) Apple, moving to that which falls below sea level (Anchor). The final two movements then take a journey outside of literal gravity into the realm of more metaphorical things that are said to ‘fall’ (Stockmarket & Night). The first movement is 4 minutes long and the ensuing movements are progressively shorter culminating in a brief movement of just 45 seconds. The metronome markings fall from an opening tempo of 144 to just 52 in the end and the harmonic centres (while not exactly tonal), gradually fall from sharp keys to flat keys. Inside these ‘measurable’ aspects of falling lie a somewhat less–fathomable response to our existence within an environment largely governed by gravity.

Commissioned by Stephen McIntyre for the 2009 Port Fairy Spring Festival of Music, this piece is dedicated to Duo Sol (Miki Tsunoda and Caroline Almonte) who gave the premiere performance.