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Richard Reed Parry and Bryce Dessner

Wave Movements (2015)
Commissioned by Barbican Centre in collaboration with MET Museum Presents for the NY Philharmonic Contact Ensemble, Edinburgh International Festival, Cork Opera House, Sydney Festival and St. Denis Festival
Text Writer
Cyril Tawney
Chester Music Ltd
Year Composed
45 Minutes
Programme Note
Inspired directly by the sounds and rhythms of the ocean waves, Wave Movements evokes and mimics the vast cycles of the seas.

With the skeleton for the composition stemming directly from field recordings of the world's seashores, an oceanic mass is created from soaring strings, in which musical flourishes appear to surprise the listener and reflect the restless nature of the waves.

Written by Richard Reed Parry and Bryce Dessner, this moving new piece will be premiered at the Barbican by Britten Sinfonia conducted by Clark Rundell, in synch to a film made by the photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, using his series of iconic Seascapes.

Maddy Prior,’s folk vocal rounds off the performance, providing a single voice singing alone out on the ocean, casting a subtle narrative light over the whole piece.

‘Wave patterns occur repeatedly but intermittently and never exactly the same way twice; despite constantly shifting, to listen to ocean waves is usually completely hypnotic.’ – Parry

It was stirring and effective, both as an evocation of the movement of the sea and a minimalist work of elemental drama. Massed strings were drawn rhythmically across bows in slow surges, a beater trembled ominously against a gong, and violins shrieked back and forth like seagulls. Then a shaft of light hit the metal sea and hopeful, sweeping strings emerged from this thoroughly evocative and involving piece.
David Pollock, The Scotsman,30/08/2015
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