oliver thurley: o horizon

o horizon, gloa on the forest floor

for harp and a hand of metal, 7'30"

quietly. dancing in the detritus.

o horizon, gloa on the forest floor should be performed extremely quietly, with trembling and a hand of metal thimbles. The piece makes use of a number of small, independently controlled lines, using five metal thimbles sliding along the harp’s lower strings to create a slow-shifting and disorienting texture. Sonically, the piece is fragile and very quiet: a fluctuating soundscape of string scrapes, intermittently punctuated by small clusters and delicate points.

Slight amplification reveals a virtuosity of restraint: the tiny movements and tremors of the performer’s fingers against the strings breeds an entire ecosystem of fragile sounds. In its premiere performance, a spotlight shining on the harp and fingers cast phantasmagoric shadows across the stage, magnifying the delicate, creaturely hand movements.

written for Gunnhildur Einarsdóttir’s Harp Workshop at the Darmstadt Summer Courses 2018. premiered by Rahel Schweizer 28 July 2018, Darmstadt, Germany

score (.pdf, 12.3 MB)



photo by Aaron Holloway-Nahum, taken at the Darmstadt premiere, 2018.

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