The title refers to a term often applied to human-made structures, built from the earth and soil of their surrounding environment. Whilst the term might conjure images of long-barrows and forts from prehistoric times, the piece itself does not try and create a sonic portrait of these places. Instead, the piece is interested in the processes by which these timeworn were themselves made. Ancient peoples sculpting the landscape to build such ancient structures seems somehow different to the manner in which we build our environment today.
EARTHWORKS is written for a flexible ensemble, working with, against, and across a physical material (such as gravel, shells, slate, or rubbish). The piece is cast in three movements, each of which could be thought of as exploring different human/non-human relationships – or even attitudes – between the players and the materials that surround them.
EARTHWORKS was commissioned by CoMA, Contemporary Music for All in 2019 as part of their ongoing Open Score project.
Open. Approximately 8-12 minutes, but quite possibly longer.
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