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Mirrie Dancers

(Alto Flute Concerto, 2013)

  • Solo Alto Fute + Ensemble: Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, Bassoon, Guitar, Violin, Viola, Cello, Tape

  • Duration 24 min.

  • First performance on October 5, 2013, in London by Carla Rees, solo a.fl, Paul Goodey, ob, Ashley Myall, bn, David Black, gtr, Marie Schreer, vln, Julian Fish, vla, Corentin Chassard, vc, Michael Oliva, electronics and Tomi Räisänen, cond.

  • Recording: Sauna, Ensemble Works, Edition Troy EDTCD 005 (2016), Carla Rees, solo alto flute, Neue Musik im Ostseeraum, Tomi Räisänen, cond.

Despite being a Finn, I had never visited Lapland before the winter of 2013. I travelled to northernmost Finland to see the aurorae (polar lights). Standing outside in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures and watching nature's light show was a truly breathtaking experience. Cultures around the globe have given different names and explanations for the aurorae. People in Orkney call them 'Merry Dancers'. However, 'merry' might be a mispronouncing of the word 'mirrie', which means 'shimmering'. It is possible that in the past, aurorae preceding the red light of the rising sun was seen as an omen of a bloody battle, as this proverb suggests: 'When the mirrie dancers play, they are like to slay’. TR, 2013

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