April 10th sees an exciting event for The Venue MK and Milton Keynes City Orchestra- the premiere of a brand new piece of music; Proprioception!
to wet our appetitie, composer Emma-Ruth Richards gives us an insight into the piece's inspiration and structure:
Proprioception is a five movement piece. Each movement deals with a different concept within architecture (i.Image, ii.Space, iii.Movement, iv.Icon, v.Light) and has a self-contained idea that encapsulates a different colour or texture idea varying from almost sparse and pointillistic clarity to something closer to a mist-like blanket that simple motivic ideas and melodic lines can float within.
The main theme of this piece is a quote from Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. The theme is heard throughout Das Lied on the trumpet and is accompanied with the words ‘dark is life, is death’. Parts of this theme are heard in every movement building up to the focal point in the final movement where the full theme is heard on trumpets, oboes, cellos and eventually horns and bassoons as well; the transcendent qualities of light and life, verses darkness and death, provoked by Mahler’s symbolic use of the trumpet, have been inspiration for me. Whilst writing this piece I was reminded of a quote by the contemporary philosopher and architect Juhani Pallasmaa: in Architecture and the Senses he writes that "in great architectural spaces there is a constant, deep breathing of shadow and light; shadow inhales and illumination exhales light” He draws a comparison with Rembrandt paintings where “the depth of shadow in which the protagonist is embedded gives a sense of presence, he/she is embedded like a precious object”. In each movement of Proprioception I have 'embedded' the Mahler theme within the different spaces of the piece.