Cerulean Orbits for violin and piano (2016)

Cerulean Orbits sample score pages

Performed by Benjamin Beilman and Andrew Tyson

Cerulean Orbits was commissioned by Musica Viva and was premiered by Benjamin Beilman and Andrew Tyson during their tour of Australia in 2016.

The title describes the relationship explored in this piece between the violin and piano. The players’ lines encircle each other, agitating harmonic material in ornate and colouristic ways. The piece opens with the two instruments orbiting around the note B and they proceed to cast independent melodic lines drawing upon the same pool of pitches, at once blending with and antagonising each other. The trilling activity in the piano soon gives way to a more flowing texture and this is matched with intricately ornamented melody in violin. Contrast plays an important role in this piece. For example, the serene opening is interrupted by a torrential descending statement in piano and this is answered by the violin with insistent, accented repeated notes. The forward-moving energy of this passage dissipates and a new texture is introduced characterised by soft, rapidly bubbling motion in the piano and a floating high melody in violin. Following this, a number of earlier ideas are revisited and developed before returning to the restful and reflective state of the opening.

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