Burmese pictures

Composition


Inglis, B. 2010. Burmese pictures. Composers Edition.
Title of workBurmese pictures
CreatorsInglis, B.
Description

Burmese Pictures for recorder ensemble was co-commissioned by Joshua Htet (for a Burmese charity concert at Christ Church Spitalfields in May 2010) and by Gabriel Prokofiev (for the album release Tangled Pipes on his record label, Nonclassical). The context of the concert premiere required some engagement with Burmese culture, while the brief for the album asked for a piece which would be ‘short, punchy and rhythmic’. Faced with reconciling these disparate imperatives, I unearthed some cadential formulae from Burmese harp music in the Grove dictionary which seemed a fruitful source for melodic-harmonic material. From my Burmese informant, however, it became apparent that Western pop and rock music (especially from the 1980s) was much more popular in the country than traditional music. In alignment with the album brief, references are included to 80s synthpop bands such as Soft Cell (in terms of melodic shape) and the Pet Shop Boys (basslines), alternating with the Burmese-inspired material. The overall result is a series of sound images designed to create a musical impression of the country as perceived from outside, but linking Burma to the West - in a sense a follow-up to my earlier Japanese Pictures for clarinet, viola and piano (1994).
Another (optional) layer is provided by the integration of spoken-word texts originating from both Burma and the West (but relating to the other in each case), from George Orwell’s Burmese Days and Aung San Suu Kyi’s Letters from Burma. The use of spoken word over music - as in my piece The Tyger Voyage (2007) - is linked to the sound-art concept of the ‘found object’ or ‘readymade’.
Following its premiere and release, Burmese Pictures was extensively toured by its dedicatees, Consortium 5, to festivals such as Deal, Truck and Spitalfields; and venues including Kings Place and St George’s Church Bloomsbury.

Output mediaPremiere performance.
LanguageEnglish
Publisher or commissioning bodyComposers Edition
First publicly available date
Print2010
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Aug 2013
Output statusPublished
Additional information

Premiere Performance: Consortium 5, Christ Church Spitalfields Fournier Street London E1 6QE, 15/5/2010
Recorded on Nonclassical NONCLSS 008 (released 7/2/2011); first broadcast Radio 3, 9/1/2013.
Performances, 2010-2012:
St Mary's, Stoke Newington 20/10/2012
Colourscape Festival, Bath 19/08/2012
Nonclassical, Troy Bar 02/02/2012
Truck Festival, Oxford 22/07/2012
Spitalfields Festival 15/06/2011
King's Place 17/01/2011
St George's Bloomsbury 20/12/2010
The Albany, Deptford 18/11/2010
Nonclassical, The Horse & Groom 07/10/2010
Deal Festival 06/07/2010
Christ Church Spitalfields 15/05/2010

Web address (URL)http://composersedition.com/catalog/product/view/id/2588/s/ce-bi1bp1/category/158/
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