Spheros
(Sphere); music for spatialized choir & soundtrack

Composition Date: 2008
Duration: 00:10:00
Genre: Choral (9 + Voices), With Electronics

Instrumentation:

Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 2 x Horn
  • 1 x Mixed chorus
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 2 x Trumpet
  • 2 x Trombone
  • 1 x Unknown electronic
Click here to download full work (13.32 Mb - Not printable)

Programme Note:
The libretto for Sphèros (Sphere) is taken from remaining fragments of a treatise written by Empedocles of Agrigentum, a Greek philosopher and mystic living in the 5th Century BCE. In them, he espouses the unity of all creation by its shared composition of four principal elements. This natural world is controlled by two opposing forces ‘Love’ and ‘Strife’, which shape these elements through an endless cycle of destruction and reformulation. He considered himself semi-divine, eventually throwing himself into the volcanic mouth of Mount Etna as an expression of his immortality. This level of spiritual zeal has always intrigued me; at times the text verges on the ecstatic.

‘There is no birth of all things mortal, nor end in ruinous death. But mingling only and interchange and birth is but its name with men.’

During the performance, the choir will sing in the original Doric Greek of the author. This has been transcribed phonetically into a latin script. The phonetic transcription of ancient texts has benefits; ancient languages offer the composer an array of novel sounds and rhythmic structures with which to work. They provides the vocalists with an intellectual motivation for their performance, while freeing the listener from formulating a literal attachment to the meaning of the text. It is this artistic gap between meaning and intention I wish to explore. The antiphonal arrangement of the voices is prompted by a desire to draw the audience into a deeper emotional experience of the music.

Premiere Information:
02/09/2007 Clonard Monastery Belfast, Northern Ireland Ulster Youth Choir Conductor: Greg Beardsell

CATALOGUE INFO:

  • Call Number:
  • MV 6800 F6993sp
  • Genre:
  • Choral (9 + Voices), With Electronics
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • April 10, 2012
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (70 p.) ;
    70 Pages
    Height: 43 cm
    Width: 28 cm
  • Language Information
  • Language of libretto: Greek, Ancient (to 1453)
  • Additional Information:
  • Spatialized choir: S1, S2, A1, A2, T1, T2, B1, B2 & ambient sountrack

    Commissioned by Ulster Youth Choir
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Spheros (Sphere); music for spatialized choir & soundtrack: Score
Score
(downloadable PDF)
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License for 10 copies - select the number of additional voices that will be used to perform this piece

Spheros (Sphere); music for spatialized choir & soundtrack by Dr. Grant Davidson Ford (Score)
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Spheros (Sphere); music for spatialized choir & soundtrack
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Copies of this work are available for loan from: Toronto, Montréal, Calgary