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a melodrama for 'cello and gamelan instruments

Histrionica Score

Histrionica was first performed at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge in March 2006 by Anton Lukoszevieze and members of the Cambridge Gamelan Society.

Histrionica is a melodrama for 'cello and gamelan instruments. The melodrama is abstract, but is perhaps best described as being the sonification of an extreme counselling session between a histrionic client and a very calm counsellor (or vice versa). The 'cello is the client. As might be expected, there is a coming together at the end. I actually wanted to avoid this - I wanted to keep the client and counsellor apart, but I'm afraid the romance of the situation overcame me and we finish with a gentle and contemplative chorale.

E.M.Forster expressed it elegantly at the end of 'A Passage to India':

'Why can't we be friends now?' said the other, holding him affectionately. 'It's what I want. It's what you want.'

But the horses didn't want it - they swerved apart; the earth didn't want it, sending up rocks through which riders must pass single-file; the temples, the tank, the jail, the palace, the birds, the carrion, the Guest House, that came into view as they issued from the gap and saw the Mau beneath: they didn't want it, they said in their hundred voices, 'No, not yet,' and the sky said, 'No, not there.'

Sound versions available:
mp3 [5.9Mb]
mp3 [5.9Mb]