Midnight choirs – for bass clarinet and electronics

Commissioned by Marie van Gorkom with help of Performing Arts Found Netherlands.

Category chamber
Year Composed 2015
Duration 10 Minutes
Orchestration bass clarinet solo and electronics
Availability contact composer
Original performer
Marij van Gorkom

Programme Note
‘Midnight choirs’ (2014) is on the technical level conceived almost entirely as an alghoritm of intervalic cells – technique I developed and expanded over the last few years. This is however done only in order to achieve coherent and expressive structure. It draws influences from traditions of folkloric singing and buzzing of evening cicadas. Melodic lines played by bass clarinet are multiplied with live processing of the pitch and spectrum to form cascades of choirs. Dedicated to Marij van Gorkom. Written with support of Performing Founds Netherlands.

Review by Paul Wilson, 1.12.2014:Works for Bass Clarinet are, traditionally, bloody difficult to learn and perform, and composers like to extract every ounce of virtuosic ability from the performer but Midnight Choirs, a work by Katarina Glowicka, challenges this notion and, in a way, reacts to the repertoire.  Midnight Choirs is a masterclass on how a sound-world can transcend and betray what looks like fairly simple musical notation.
Here, the complexity stems from the interaction between the bass clarinet sound and the live electronics, which are pitch shifters in this case.  Both acoustic and electroacoustic fuse into, what is for the most part, a seamless continuum.  This is a delicate and quite fragile piece that is restricted and limited but never free from intensity and musical tension.
by Paul Wilson