Canadian Composer Emily Hall / Compositeur canadienne Emily Hall

†††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††† †Email / Courriel: Emily Hall

AgauŽ

 

Programme Note:

 

AgauŽ is a musical drama for soprano, percussion and hexaphonic audio. The text consists of fragments from Euripidesí tragedy The Bacchae. The drama centers on the Queen AgauŽ, who has returned from a frenzied and bloody hunting spree. She boasts over the great beast she has slaughtered with her bare hands. Her father (represented by a multitrack recorded singing 'chorus' in the audio part), gradually brings her back to her senses, helping her understand that it was her son that she killed while under the spell of the god Dionysus. With this realization, AgauŽ is consumed with despair.

 

AgauŽ was the culmination of a McGill-Concordia Project, New Directions in Chamber Music 03-04, funded by a grant from FQRSC - Fonds Quťbťcois de la Recherche sur la Sociťtť et la Culture - under the direction of Tim Brady.  The composition was co-written with Niklas Kambeitz, and involved collaboration with soprano Julieanne Klein, percussionist Kristie Ibrahim, and sound engineer Charles Gagnon.

 

Text:

 

Praise me

See this prize

Here in my arms

See the beast

I am looking

See the beast

I caught him

Young and wild

With my bare hands

Young and wild

Praise me

 

(Look at the Sky)*

 

I am looking

I have forgotten

I feel a change

(Listen to me)

I have forgotten

(Listen to me)

I must know

I bore a son

His father lay with me

(Come closer)

I touch his body

(Closer)

I bore a son

(Come closer to the truth)

His life blood

I must know

(It was you AgauŽ)

I caught him

My bare hands

His life blood

My own body

I bore a son

I touch his body

Here in my arms

With my bare hands

My whole life

Now I understand

 

*Bracketed words are sung by the Ďchorusí (represented by multitrack recorded singing). Text is freely composed of fragments from The Bacchae by Euripides (404 B.C.E.), lines 1168-end.

 

Percussion Instrument List:

 

Large wooden box

Suspended cymbal

Chinese cymbal

Tambourine

Anvil

(2) Woodblocks (small and large)

(3) Tom-toms (14", 10", 6" diameters)

Small Bass Drum

Marimba (4 1/4 octave range)

Vibraphone

(8) Pitched Thai Gongs (F#3, A3, C4, E4, F4, G4, A4, Bb4)

(5) Temple Bowls (G4, A4, B4, C#5, D#5)

(2) Bell Plates (C#3, G#3)