Rather than shape a conflict-and-resolution musical path, ideas just start and stop in a riddle-ish or enigmatic fashion…

Peggy Polias, composer

Program note
PEGGY POLIAS
The Moon

This work explores the phases of the Moon in nine tiny movements, one for each of the cyclic phases and an added final movement:

  1. New Moon: when the stars shine bright
  2. Crescent Moon I: peeking through an eyelid
  3. First Quarter: when the skytide flows
  4. Gibbous Moon I: “coiling, emerging”
  5. Full Moon: when the eyes shine bright
  6. Gibbous Moon II: recoiling
  7. Third Quarter: when the skytide ebbs
  8. Crescent Moon II: eyes are drooping
  9. No Moon: eyes are closed

A nocturnal mood envelopes the work, but this is often combined with a playful childlike or naive character. Rather than shape a conflict-and-resolution musical path, ideas just start and stop in a riddle-ish or enigmatic fashion. The cyclic and circular nature of the month and Moon is a main inspiration here, with repetitive processes occurring in most of the movements. There is also very simple use of fractals, and much interlocking of parts, both of which are inspired structurally by the composer’s experience learning Javanese gamelan music.

Peggy Polias © 2009

COMPOSER PROFILE

Peggy Polias is a composer, music engraver, and arts professional residing and working on Bidjigal/Eora land in Sydney. Previously studying under the supervision of Prof Anne Boyd, Polias is currently undertaking a Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Her creative research under the supervision of Prof Liza Lim, focuses on themes of safety, secrecy, and journaling, in sound and the creative process. In 2018-19, Polias’ creative activities in this degree took place as part of the Composing Women program, for which four participants composed for NY flutist Claire Chase, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellows and Sydney Chamber Opera’s production Breaking Glass.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Polias was fortunate to attend the January 2020 London premiere of a new work Mati (2019) for The Riot Ensemble, and a local premiere of Sonata: Ode (2019) by pianist Bernadette Harvey at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, as part of Sydney Festival 2020.

As a co-founder and co-curator of online listening project, Making Waves, along with Melbourne-based composer Lisa Cheney, Polias takes a keen interest in the possibilities for music in the online space.

She is an Associate Represented Artist with the Australian Music Centre.

peggypolias.com

Image: Hayden Shepherd Photography

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