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Flicker Ensemble | Kenneth Newby: Elegeia

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Classical: Contemporary Classical: New Music Ensemble Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Kenneth Newby: Elegeia

by Flicker Ensemble

Art music for the 21st century, by turns haunting, jazz-inflected, scintillating, and meditative.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Swarm I
2:56 $0.99
2. Snark: I. Burlesque I
3:39 $0.99
3. Snark: II. Colours I
3:02 $0.99
4. Snark: III. Reflection
2:00 $0.99
5. Snark: IV. Colours II
2:15 $0.99
6. Snark: V. Burlesque II
3:33 $0.99
7. Swarm II
3:07 $0.99
8. Khôra for Pauline Oliveros: I. Khôra I
2:18 $0.99
9. Khôra for Pauline Oliveros: II. Elegeia: Love, War, Change
5:01 $0.99
10. Khôra for Pauline Oliveros: III. Khôra II
2:05 $0.99
11. Khôra for Pauline Oliveros: IV. Symmetries II for Semara Dana
4:18 $0.99
12. Khôra for Pauline Oliveros: V. Khôra III
2:39 $0.99
13. Crépuscule for Barbara
7:10 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Elegeia is the second volume of the Emergence Trilogy. Continuing from the first volume, Chambers, Elegeia enlarges the musical forces at play in its focus on music for string octet, a large ensemble of strings brass woodwinds, percussion and solo trumpet, a Balinese gamelan Semara Dana, a small ensemble of prepared piano and strings, and a work for solo piano. While the music is, in the main, crafted in the style of contemporary classical forms, the composer's love of the jazz idiom—established in For Mingus on the first volume, Chambers—is here further articulated in the compositions of Snark, most overtly in the two Burlesques.

Notes on the compositions, ensembles and instruments.

Khôra is a matrix or womb, a place of neither being or non-being, the source of all that was, is and will be.

The Semara Dana is a modern gamelan orchestra created in 1987 in Bali by I Wayan Beratha. A synthesis of old and new forms of gamelan it provides a delicious seven-tone scale for composers to work with. In Symmetries II a cultural synthesis of sorts is executed in that the pitch material is created by running the “changes” of the Double Oxford Minor method of English bell ringing. This material is orchestrated for the Semara Dana and varied rhythmically and dynamically to achieve a playful kind of conversation across cultures.

The prepared piano used in Crépuscule for Barbara borrows (or steals) the set of preparations used by John Cage in his magnificent Sonatas and Preludes for Prepared Piano. The Barbara in question is Barbara Imhoff, a friend, harpist, and collaborator who I had the great good fortune to share some life with over the years.

Notes for the Emergence Trilogy:

The Glass Bead Game

It was perhaps only natural that he should have constructed a frame, modelled on a child’s abacus, a frame with several dozen wires on which could be strung glass beads of various sizes, shapes, and colours. The wires corresponded to the lines of the musical staff, the beads to the time-values of the notes, and so on. In this way he could represent with beads musical quotations or invented themes, could alter, transpose, and develop them, change them and set them in counterpoint to one another. In technical terms this was a mere plaything.

A characteristic feature in the Game's history was that it was constantly preferred, used, and further elaborated by whatever branch of learning happened to be experiencing a period of high development or a renaissance. The mathematicians brought the Game to a high degree of flexibility and capacity for sublimation, so that it began to acquire something approaching a consciousness of itself and its possibilities. This process paralleled the general evolution of cultural consciousness.

It represented a symbolic form of seeking for perfection, a sublime alchemy, an approach to that Mind which beyond all images and multiplicities is one within itself -- the symbols and formulas of the Glass Bead Game combined structurally, musically, and philosophically within the framework of a universal language, were nourished by all the sciences and arts, and strove in play to achieve perfection, pure being, the fullness of reality. Thus, "realizing" was a favourite expression among the players. They considered their Games a path from Becoming to Being, from potentiality to reality.

Magister Ludi—The Glass Bead Game - Hermann Hesse


Recursive enumeration is a process in which new things emerge from old things by fixed rules. . . . It might seem that recursively defined sequences of that type possess some sort of inherently increasing complexity of behaviour, so that the further out you go, the less predictable they get. This kind of thought carried a little further suggests that suitably complicated recursive systems might be strong enough to break out of any predetermined patterns. And isn't this one of the defining properties of intelligence?

Gödel, Escher, Bach An Eternal Golden Braid - D. R. Hofstadter

It’s the future. It’s the future for music. It’s the future for performing music. It’s the future for writing music. It’s the future for listening to music. All of our futures in music are involved with recording. It’s as simple as that, and as complicated as that.”

Glenn Gould

Bandmate to Frank: “Frank!… where did you learn all this stuff?”

Zappa: “Oh… I went to the library.”


Many thanks to Martin Gotfrit for offering support at the crucial moment for the work to be brought to fruition. “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Appreciation is also given to Baba Shankar Barua for his support over the years in providing a playground and meeting place in India for sharing the work as it evolved in a dynamic and supportive community of creatives.

Jeannette Angel who was there at the moment the calyx first revealed its wonders.

Aleksandra Dulic who gave me the garret in which the work has taken its final bloom.

Antonin Artaud Claude Debussy George E. Lewis Pauline Oliveros
Bela Bartok Pak I Made Gerindem Gyorgy Ligeti Maurice Ravel
The Beatles Glenn Gould George Martin Rahayu Suppangah
Leonard Bernstein Keith Jarrett Charles Mingus Pak Wasitodiningrat
John Coltrane Susanne K. Langer Marvin Minsky Anton Webern
Ram Dass Otto Laske Per Norgard Frank Zappa

For Ashlan, Tara, and River.



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