The single movement work Out of the Blue...draws on the unity of a tightly knit small
ensemble: a standard string orchestra featuring, from time to time a solo violin
and solo viola. It gains its energy from displaced accents and a distinctive piling
up of parallel or near parallel melodic parts to create a sense of propulsion. The
central section, by contrast, is fragmented and sparsely textured, lapsing into introspection
and reflection – as if the players are pondering over the musical material. Motives
are slowed down, spread out, and shared between parts. Dreamy tremolos and floating
chords pave the way for a return to the opening ideas by way of a limping waltz.
The concluding section once more features the riffs (melodic fragments) and rhythmic
patterns derived from blues music.
Nigel Westlake's studied the clarinet with his father, Donald Westlake and subsequently
left school early to pursue a performance career in music. Nigel toured Australia
and the world playing with ballet companies, a circus troupe, chamber music groups,
fusion bands and orchestras. His interest in composition dates from the late 1970's
when he formed a classical/jazz-rock/world-music fusion band to play original music.
During this time he started to receive offers to compose for radio and circus with
commissions for TV and film soon following. In 1983 he furthered his studies of contemporary
music in the Netherlands. From 1987 to 1992 he was a clarinettist with the Australia
Ensemble and in 1992 he joined guitarist John Williams's group 'Attacca' as a performer
and composer for international tours. Since then he has given his primary attention
to composition. Nigel has composed several feature film scores, with his score for
Miss Potter winning Feature Film Score of the Year & Best Soundtrack Album at the
2007 Screen Music Awards.
For more information please visit: www.rimshot.com.au