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  • Recorder Quintet, Tape

  • Duration 14 min.

  • Dedicated to Fontanella. Commissioned with funds from the Arts Council of Finland and Teosto.

  • First performance on August 17, 2013, in Binham, U.K. by Fontanella: Rebecca Austen-Brown, Katriina Boosey, Louise Bradbury, Sarah Humphrys, Annabel Knight

I. тайга (Taiga)

II. 50°0’N

III. Дуз (Due)

In 2012, I travelled to Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East. Following in the footsteps of the author Anton Chekhov, I familiarised myself with the island’s colourful history. Chekhov spent some time on Sakhalin in 1890, when the island was a penal colony, and published his experiences in an enthralling travel journal (Остров Сахалин, 1895). Sakhalin is a large island and has been influenced very little by man. Taiga (тайга) dominates the scenery: a fir forest typical to the far Northern Hemisphere. For an extended period, Sakhalin was ruled obscurely by the Russians and the Japanese, but at the end of the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, the island was divided through its centre at 50°0’N. Japan ruled its southern half (Karafuto) until the end of World War II when the whole island became Soviet Union-owned. The last movement refers to the village Due (Дуэ), which used to house the first official Russian settlement on Sakhalin and is currently in an incredibly dilapidated state. A tape part accompanies the recorders, and two speeches from WWII are heard: In June 1941, the Soviet Union’s premier Molotov informs his citizens about the Nazi German attack and the Soviet Union’s engagement in the war. The second voice on the tape belongs to Emperor Hirohito, who is announcing to his subjects Japan’s surrender in August 1945. TR, 2013

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