Saunders’ Skin for soprano and 13 instruments plays with two Modernist literary texts. It was inspired by a passage from Samuel Beckett’s television play The Ghost Trio:
‘dust is the skin of a room
history is a skin
the older it gets the more impressions are left on its surface
and quotes from Molly Bloom’s passionate monologue in James Joyce’s Ulysses.
The piece won the RPS award for Chamber-Scale composition, the jury commenting: ‘[it displays] an ability to hear and reproduce astonishing sounds with an artistry and technique which leave us gasping in admiration’.
The short piece Fury II for double bass and ensemble explores the dimensions of sound and noise.
Explaining the title of ‘a visible trace, Saunders speaks about hunting down sound: ‘Find the thing and it disappears; name the thing and it loses shape and meaning. That is the ‘trace’ ... unattainable, elusive, slips through your fingers, the moment you touch it, it is gone.’
The work’s eleven soloists form small chamber groups, each creating musical threads which coexist in the overall texture to create, in the composer’s words, ‘an unusual tension’.
RepertoireRebecca Saunders: Skin for soprano & 13 instruments; Fury II for double bass & ensemble; a visible trace for ensemble