12 Apr 2017

John ELMSLY: Lanternes

From NZ Composer Sessions, 12:00 am on 12 April 2017

A lanterne is one of the cinquain forms of poetry where the first line has one syllable, each subsequent line increases by one syllable, and the final line has once again a single syllable.

"I was thinking particularly of concepts of shape similarity and how they might be applied to musical gestures, harmonic fields and duration patterns whilst on a very brief visit in December 2015 to Bai Tu Long Bay in Vietnam with its near two thousand limestone islands, all highly similar in shape. This is true of course for many landforms but seems particularly striking when seen from the sea." ~ John Elmsly

Lanternes was created while the composer was Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards Composer-in-Residence at Te Kōki New Zealand School of Music, 2015-16, and resident in the Lilburn House, Ascot St, Thorndon. Some of the musical ideas are derived from an earlier work, Of Secrets, Echoes and working on suggestions made at a reading of this by fellow composer Jack Body.


John Elmsly

John Elmsly Photo: Darryl Foong

Composer and conductor John Elmsly studied mathematics and music at Victoria University of Wellington before postgraduate study at the Conservatories of Brussels and Liège in Belgium. He was Mozart Fellow at the University of Otago in 1981, and taught at the University of Auckland from 1984 to 2014. He was Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards Composer in Residence at the New Zealand School of Music from 2015-2016. 

A diverse output includes instrumental, vocal and electronic music with commissions from leading performers and orchestras. A number of CD recordings of his music are available. On the most recent release (by Atoll), ‘Ritual Auras,’ he conducts the Karlheinz Company which frequently broadcasts on RNZ Concert and often features music from the Asia-Pacific region. White Feathers for narrator and orchestra (settings of six major NZ poets on peace themes) was performed by the Auckland Philharmonia in a concert opening the 2011 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival.  A new violin concerto will be premiered by Jun Hong Loh with Orchestra Wellington in May 2017. He served for many years on the committee of the Composers Association of New Zealand including a period as president and was an executive committee member of the Asian Composers League from 1997 to 2002.

Recorded 12 April 2017, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ Concert for 2017 NZ Composer Sessions.

Producer: David McCaw

Engineer: Graham Kennedy

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