Fast Blue Village (2007)
Elena Kats-Chernin (b. 1957 Uzbekistan)
Elena Kats-Chernin was born in 1957 in the Uzbekistan capital of Tashkent and studied composition in Moscow, piano and composition in New South Wales, Australia, and composition in West Germany with Helmut Lachenmann. While in Europe she became active in theatre and ballet, composing for state theatres in Berlin, Vienna, Hamburg and Bochum. Her music attracted the attention of the Ensemble Modern, and in 1993 they premiered her extraordinary work, “Clocks,” which has been performed on several continents. Since her return to Australia in 1994, Elena Kats-Chernin has become one of the country’s leading composers having written three operas, two piano concertos and many other works.
Her brilliantly scored, energetic and often propulsive music has been choreographed by dance makers around the world, including her score for the ballet ”Wild Swans,” choreographed by Meryl Tankard for the Australian Ballet in 2003, which won two highly acclaimed awards for best original score in 2004.
Fast Blue Village is part of a series of pieces that derive their material from a piece Kats-Chernin wrote for Present Music in Milwaukee, for premiere in April 2007. It was called Village Idiot, was scored for 12 instruments and was 15 minutes long. The piece went so well that she had some requests to make different shorter versions of it for different instrumentations. She wrote this particular version to play herself at a Live Green Event in Sydney in August 2007. It is written in 5/4 meter, but the patterns are divided in different ways in different sections. Fast Blue Village is for string quartet and there is also a shorter 4-minute version, Urban Village 3 for viola and piano, written for the daughter of one of Kats-Chernin’s colleagues for her Conservatorium High School exam. The composer also wrote a version for Clarity Quartet titled Urban Village 4 for four clarinets.
* “Fast Blue Village” was released by Sono Luminus Records on February 26, 2013 on Del Sol’s release ZIA.
* Watch an alternative version for electro-pneumatic instruments here.