Cowie, Edward (2003) Gaia. [Composition]

Item Type: Composition
Creators: Cowie, Edward
Abstract / Summary:

24 solo voices (SATB/divisi) and large ensemble

Duration: 68 minutes.
Pub: United Music Publishers, London; ISMN M 2244 05361 4.

From 2002-2005, I was the inaugural Composer in Association with the BBC Singers. Alongside smaller-scale works for the Singers, my contract stipulated one major commission annually. The first, 'Gaia', is a large-scale musical form comprising eight movements (‘Towards Big Bang’: ‘The Formation of Gaia’: ‘Voices from the Sea’: ‘The Voices of Insects’: ‘The Voices of Birds’: ‘The Voices of Mammals’: ‘The Voices of Homo’: ‘The Voices of Gaia’). Collectively, these trace the evolution of the earth from pre-Big Bang, to evolution of specific species and genera, to the emergence of homo sapiens. All are accompanied by large ensemble, except ‘The Voices of Homo’ which is for twenty-four solo voices (in twenty-four parts).

By its nature a complex piece, ‘Gaia’ involved research into the dynamics of cosmology and the development of specific genera: their behaviours and, where appropriate, 'voices'. Since it is 'about evolution', much consideration was given to motivic and thematic development and formal metamorphoses. In common with much of my music, the harmonic language comprises a continuous flux between tonality and atonality.

Official URL:
Date: 21 February 2003
Additional Information: During preparation of ‘Gaia’ I made a series of drawings and paintings which, reproduced on DVD, were projected during its world première as part of a BBC Invitation Concert at BBC Maida Vale 1, with the BBC Singers and Endymion, under Stephen Cleobury. The Singers have since performed the a capella movement several times (e.g. for my BBC 60th birthday concert, at St Giles Cripplegate, London) and this has been recorded and broadcast in its own right (BBC Radio 3, 8 November 2003).
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ex Falmouth Staff
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2014 11:00
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 16:03


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