Die Sternklare

Complete Work Title: 

Die Sternklare (The Starry Woman) — character study after Elias Canetti


Performance Medium: 

solo percussion: vibraphone, crotales (2 octaves), 2 tam-tams, 2 Thai gongs, 2 suspended cymbals, glass wind chimes.


Duration: 

c.5:00


Dedication: 

to Christopher Deane


Date Composed: 

May - June 2006


Additional Information: 

Included on the album Improbable Encounters (innova 873, 2014).


Performance History: 

Christopher Deane, percussion:
• 19 September 2016; University of North Texas (Denton, TX).

Jacob Garcia, percussion:
• 8 August 2015; Studio 101 (Houston, TX) — Texas New Music Ensemble program
• 1 May 2015; University of North Texas (Denton, TX).

Christopher Deane, percussion:
• 6 March 2011; Voices of Change Salon Concert (Dallas, TX)
• 14 November 2009; Indiana Convention Center (Indianapolis, IN) — 2009 Percussive Arts Society International Convention.
• 6 November 2009; Highland Park Presbyterian Church (Dallas, TX) — Dallas Festival of Modern Music.
• 20 October 2009; University of North Texas (Denton, TX).
• 20 February 2007; University of North Texas (Denton, TX). [premiere]


Program Notes: 

Die Sternklare ("The Starry Woman") is the ninth in a series of short works for solo instrument based upon the vividly surreal characters in Der Ohrenzeuge: Fünfzig Charaktere ("Earwitness: Fifty Characters"), written in 1974 by the Bulgarian-born British-Austrian novelist Elias Canetti (1905-1994). Canetti’s distinctive studies incorporate poetic imagery, singular insights, and unabashed wordplay to create fifty ironic paradigms of human behavior. Begun in 1997, there are fifteen works in this series to date, composed for contrabass, violin, contrabassoon, ocarina, glass harmonica, bass flute, alto saxophone, trumpet, percussion, bass saxophone, guitar, piccolo, organ, basset horn, and violoncello. In Canetti's depiction of this character, The Starry Woman "shuns the crude light of the sun. [She] sighs in relief when the sun is gone and she wishes it would never come again... Her skin is as pure as the light of the sun. But she does not realize this in herself. Her only mirror is the illuminated night, and this mirror consists of so many dots that it has no unity."

Die Sternklare was completed in June of 2006 for percussionist Christopher Deane, who first performed the work at the University of North Texas on 20 February 2007. It is included on the album Improbable Encounters (innova 873, 2014).