MEKE IWAU

FOR 13 MUSICIANS · 2015

Listen soon…


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The first of four works, collectively titled Island Songs, that were written in November 2015 at the former home of Imogen Holst, Aldeburgh. These works were generously supported by the Britten-Peers and Holst foundations.

Meke Iwau is derived from the rhythms and structures of traditional Polynesian music and is dedicated to the late David Fanshawe (1942-2010), who created some of the finest recordings of traditional music ever made. Elms was privileged to be shown around Fanshaweʼs recording archive by the composer-recordist himself in 2009, yet it wasnʼt until 2015 that Elms felt capable of paying a musical tribute to such a warm and generous character.

The spirit of traditional Polynesian music is profoundly moving and resonates on a personal level, despite its cultural and linguistic barriers. It is this humanist connection that Elms wanted to explore with the entire series of Island Songs, which were written during his time in Aldeburgh. The imagery of a music being self-contained and surrounded by tremulous waters is referenced by the title Island Songs and it is this same imagery that influenced the instrumentation and function of the four works: single instruments — or islands — that maintain their own ideals, rhythms and developments amidst an ocean of others, which contrast or oppose.

1 CLARINET Bb
1 TRUMPET Bb
3 PERCUSSION

crotales, vibraphone, marimba, chimes, wood blocks, snare drum

1 ELECTRIC GUITAR

with amplification, delay pedal and e.bow

1 SYNTHESIZER

with amplification

1 PIANO
2 VIOLIN 1 VIOLA 1 CELLO 1 CONTRABASS DURATION: 8 MINUTES
DEDICATED TO DAVID FANSHAWE (1942-2010)
PUBLISHED BY MUSIC SALES
ALDEBURGH, NOV 2015