The words are about the instruments and orchestral techniques. In rehearsing it, students sing about violins then hear violins, they sing about violas then hear violas, and so on for all the instruments. They can hardly avoid learning the names and sounds of the instruments. There is almost no homophonic part singing, and most vocal entries are preceded by the same phrase in the orchestra. As a result, it may be performed by the whole music class, rather than a specialist choir. It is aimed at children of ages 10-15. The piece was commissioned by the University of New South Wales Orchestra who play on the clips below, and written by Joe Wolfe. Colin Piper conducts and Lanneke Jones sings. Recording engineer: Emery Schubert.
To play the mp3 files below, you may need to download a reader such as RealPlayer
Short samples from Conjunction (~300 kbytes each):
Introduction; Violin-viola; Colours-blue; Flutes;
Bassoons; Tuba; Paradiddle; Finale.
Download Conjunction in movements
. . . Introduction (1200 kbyte) introduces the choir and the orchestra.
. . . Strings (2300 kbyte) introduces that family.
. . . Colours (1200 kbyte) has some combinations of orchestral colours, and room for some choir choreography.
. . . Winds (1800 kbyte) introduces the woodwinds.
. . . Brass (1200 kbyte) introduces the horns and brass.
. . . Percussion (1200 kbyte) includes both the orchestral percussion and body percussion from the choir.
. . . Finale. (850 kbyte)
. . . Conjunction in a single large file (9700 kbyte)
A set of printed educational material for teachers is available for the teachers involved. This explains how the instruments work, how they and their families fit together, some of their peculiarities, and how they are used in orchestration and in musical structure. All are introduced in the context of this piece. So it makes life easy for teachers.
The tunes are catchy, syncopated and rhythmic. There are some jokes and some competitions between the instrumentalists and the singers. So it makes life fun for the singers.
For an amateur orchestra performing the work, the main interest is that a big choir brings a big audience, and a big audience can help an orchestra financially.
Conjunction is available as:
* fl, fl&picc, picc, 2 ob, c.a., 2 cl, bcl, alt.sax, 2 bsn, 4 hn, 3 tpt, 2 trom, b.trom., tba, timp, 4 perc, strings.
Joe Wolfe / J.Wolfe@unsw.edu.au /61-2-9385 4954 (UT+10,+11 Oct-Mar)