31 Oct 2017

David HAMILTON: The Faraday Cage

From Music Alive, 7:00 pm on 31 October 2017

Invented in 1863 by Michael Faraday, a ‘faraday cage’ is an enclosure designed to block external static electric fields. It distributes electrostatic charges around the exterior of the cage, channeling electricity along and around, but not through the mesh, providing constant voltage on all sides of the enclosure.

A Faraday Cage

A Faraday Cage Photo: Antoine Tavenaux CC BY-SA 3.0

The Faraday Cage

Three movements:

  • Inside the Cage
  • Outside the Cage
  • Inside Out and Outside In

The title was the starting point for the work, suggesting sparks and electric currents running around the surface of an object. Beyond that the music is not intended to literally conjure up a faraday cage, although there is a small musical hint of one (alert listeners will spot significant use of the notes C-A-G-E in the opening bars of the final movement).

David Hamilton (b. 1955) is best known as a choral composer, although he has written a considerable quantity and variety of chamber music. He was delighted to be commissioned for this, his first piano trio, having known NZTrio cellist Ashley Brown when he was a school student and been a long-time fan of the Trio.


NZTrio Photo: Supplied

'The Faraday Cage' was commissioned in 2015 by NZTrio with funding from Creative New Zealand.

Members of NZTrio are Justine Cormack (violin), Ashley Brown (cello), and Sarah Watkins (piano)

Recorded by RNZ Concert at the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson on 6 February 2017.

Producer: Tim Dodd

Engineer: Darryl Stack