ABOUT THE PROJECT
The fifth portrait album from Sydney composer, Cameron Lam, weaves together the timbre and expressive depth of mezzo soprano Jenny Duck-Chong (Halcyon) and the vibrant connection of the Geist String Quartet to paint a delicate response to the rhythmic and intensely musical poetry of Sarah Holland-Batt’s award-winning first book, Aria.
The Art of Disappearing is a song cycle meditating on the nature of grief. The eight songs, for mezzo soprano and string quartet, together tell stories of reminiscence, loss and grief. The cycle doesn’t present loss as something to solve; instead, it paints the inexorable journey from stasis, as we learn to move again.
Lam explains, “Music is movement to me. In fact, my main trick for composer’s block is to go walking in the same tempo as the sketch I’m working on. That was the striking thing about Sarah’s poetry for me, it was arresting, it stopped me in my tracks – it sang all by itself and I just wanted to add to that.”
Lam interweaves another four pieces into these songs, a series of string quartet interludes contemplating the nature of time. In these movements we hear more cerebral explorations: two pieces played simultaneously (with players jumping between time streams), pulses slowly breaking down, and a melody echoing a duet with itself. These dual themes (grief and time) enhance and reflect each other throughout the album with motives echoing back and forth between tracks.
The Art of Disappearing was recorded by Jayson McBride at Studios 301 in Sydney in November 2018, thanks to the support of Fine Music 102.5FM’s 2018 Stephen Kruger Scholarship.
- The Art of Disappearing 1
- String Quartet No.2, Mvt I:
- Meditation on the Plum 1
- String Quartet No.2, Mvt II:
Scattered Like A Broken Crusader
- Athenian Jar
- String Quartet No.2, Mvt III:
Silence Resonating Into Sound
- Enduring Ritual
- Meditation on the Plum 2
- String Quartet No.2, Mvt IV:
Which Was Always There
- The Art of Disappearing 2
We worked with (name) to create a piece based off of…
ARTWORK: TIME ECHOES YOUR SOUND BY JENNIFER REUTER
We commissioned Melbourne artist Jennifer Reuter to create EP art for the String Quartet, both for the score and the digital EP currently on Spotify, responding to the music and videos as inspiration – see her vibrant final product below.
Jennifer’s thoughts on her work process:
“During the time I worked on Time Echoes Your Sound, I went through a stage of learning the meaning of vulnerability, or a search for close relationships. Naturally, I saw in the music and dance that eerie sense of social disconnect I felt; searching for meaningful interaction, fearing dissonant conflict, and the grief of loneliness to escape it. But Cameron and Louisa’s work is also beautifully abstract, and I have a soft spot making things connect through space-bending ways.”
VIDEO: TIME ECHOES YOUR SOUND BY LOUISA POLETTI
We commissioned Germany-based Australian choreographer and film-maker Louisa Poletti to create a four-episode video series called “Time Echoes Your Sound”, based on Cameron’s string quartet.
THE TEAM H3
|Poet||Sarah Holland-Batt |
(Aria published by University of Queensland Press)
|Mezzo Soprano||Jenny Duck-Chong (Halcyon)|
|Geist String Quartet:|
|Violin||Sonia Wilson, Mia Stanton|
|Audio Engineer & Producer||Jayson McBride|
|Art of Disappearing||Luke Moseley|
|Time Echoes Your Sound||Jennifer Reuter|
|Choreographer & Filmmaker||Louisa Poletti|