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Absence ... for Split Orchestra
Date: 2003,  Duration: 6m

Date: 2003

Duration: 6:06 minutes


The original recording began with a recording session with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) which collected orchestral samples of various chords, single notes and arpeggios. These were then imported into Protools, edited, modified and remixed to form more complex textures exploring spatialisation and textural density.

Original remix and compilation of samples performed by the QSO

00:00 / 06:07

The notated score of Absence... uses orchestral samples from Note Performer within the Finale notation program. The score is a transcription, and further orchestration, of the original remixed recording of the samples.


Due to the vast number of audio material created as a result of the remix, the orchestration required the need for a split orchestra with the following instrumentation in each orchestra: (; 2.2.2; strings without double bass).  For example: a full size symphony orchestra separated into two halves. This was necessary in order to capture the various nuances and effects of the original remixed recording.

Finale scored version for two orchestras using Note Performer plug in

00:00 / 06:01

Score and parts are available from the Australian Music Centre

Commentary (from the A to Z of music and spirit): How does one represent absence, nothingness? By paradox, absence implies something that was there. It could be a memory, lingering feeling, hope and longing, all hovering in a void. Absence is a space that has no boundary. It is like an emotion that engulfs.


In music this paradox can be heard in the use of repetition, silence,  sounds that sound similar to each other, no specific time units, a sense of hovering in a void of fragments referring to a past. In this space anything can happen. It becomes full of quiverings, hopes and desires. The absent space is a space of infinite memories, sometimes singular, at other times a multiplicity of experiences all at once

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