Bellamy, Mary (2002) Celestine. [Composition] (Submitted)

Celestine was commissioned and premiered at the Pianissimo Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria, 2002. The work received a further
performance by Stephen Gutman at the British Music Information Centre Cutting Edge series at The Warehouse, London, 2003;
and at the Ostrava New Music Days 2007, performed by Daan Vandewalle. The work was recorded to CD by Stephen Gutman
in 2005 as part of the British Music Information Centre’s recording project, ‘Critical Notice’.

Programmes from performances.

The research questions addressed in the work consider how texture and timbre can be used as large-scale structuring
parameters. Texture is explored through the use of the sostenuto pedal, used to capture certain harmonic elements of the
material in order to create a resonating background. In conjunction with this, material consisting of complementary pitch content
is played, creating a foreground and establishing a layered texture. Timbre is explored, both through the resonating harmonies
in the sosenuto pedal and a sequence of contrasting recurring motivic gestures, each functioning as a distinct sound. These
take the form of large arpeggiated chords, fragmentary linear material, note clusters, trills and grace note figurations. These
gestures are subjected to a sequence of repetitions, along with variations in one or a combination of the following: density,
register, contour, dynamic, pitch content and duration, all of which create a change in timbre and/or texture. Through such an
approach this work demonstrates an exploration of non-linear development and a non-narrative approach to structural form.
Aspects of organic development are explored through a gradual increase in density of the material over the course of the work.
Aspects of timbre and texture in this piece are discussed further in the composer’s PhD commentary.

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