Composer - Greenbaum, Stuart

The year without a summer (Trans-Tasman composer exchange commission, written for NZTrio – premiered April 2010) – 15′ 

800 Million Heartbeats – 8′

Book of Departures – 10′

The year without a summer:

The eruption in 1815 of Mt. Tambora on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa was over four times as big as the eruption of Krakatoa later that century but perhaps not as well known. The ash and dust thrown up into the earth’s upper atmosphere further resulted in ‘the year without a summer’ in 1816. This was by all accounts a devastating ecological event that caused unseasonal cold temperatures and widespread famine.

The first movement of this trio is short and fast. It imagines a dark cloud of dust approaching from the distance, not knowing where it came from. Did it seem a premonition? How long did they think it would last? The longer second movement shifts forward to 1816 and contemplates the upheaval of people’s lives – of having their world turned upside down in one way or another and having to regroup and adjust to new circumstances.

 

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