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Australian, Netherlands-based composer Kate Moore, is interested «in the way tectonic forces act upon a surface where the subtle collision of energies push and pull against each other resulting in rippling, swirling and vibrating vivid soundscapes that are always changing». «Revolver», a  collection of eight pieces composed for a dance installation work by fellow-Australian artist-sculptor Ken Unsworth called «Restraints» that was premiered in October 2017 and reflects beautifully Moore’s interest. «Revolver» was recorded in Sydney, Australia by a chamber quintet.

The kinetic physicality and aesthetics of balance found in Unsworth’s work inspired Moore’s compositions for «Revolver». The rich and multilayered eight-parts suite embodies a feeling of suspension and vibrates gently between movement and stasis. The chamber, seductive dreamscapes constantly flow, evolve and revolve around lush, lyrical melodies and delicate, gamelan-like polyrhythmic patterns and radiates an immediate emotional impact. Unsworth praised Moore’s music and said it created «uncertainties for the dancers puts them off-kilter so they can refocus to produce new spectacles of movement and emotion».

Moore added poetic notes to the eight pieces of «Revolver», distilling the elusive emotional spirit of each piece, and the somehow melancholic philosophical-musical perspective of Moore, summarized in the «Way of the Dead»: «a danse macabre for the silky threads of a violin / whose melody lures souls away from Earthly existence / and captivates dancing skeletons dressed in bright colours…».  But «Revolver» opens with a lighter tone, the gradually shifting cycles of the title piece, described as «a music box or a pistol / a revolving melody / divined from miniature stone circles». The following, poignant «The Boker» imagines the boxing ring as a setting where «choreography of moves» happens between «noble, humble warriors of humility».  The atmosphere becomes darker and contemplative on the three movements of «Song of Ropes» («the long slow unfurling of the coil of a rope / in the form of a melody like a snake’s body…»). The last piece of this impressive and most beautiful work, «Gatekeeper», insists on focusing on subtle collisions of kinetic and sonic uncertainties, and as Moore writes in a koan-like verse: «a key is encoded in a riddle: / a mysterious arcane puzzle held / at the tenterhooks of the strings of a harp …».

Eyal Hareuveni 

Anna McMichael (vio), Rowena Macneish (c), Kirsty McCahon (b), Genevieve Lang (harp), Claire Edwardes (perc)

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