SILHOUETTE (2012)

SILHOUETTE (2012)

for accordion

instrumentation: acc
duration: 9 minutes
première: March 30, 2012, Union Hall, Maribor, Slovenia
Luka Juhart – accordion

Commissioned by Maribor 2012 – European Capital of Culture

SILHOUETTE

score preview

SILHOUETTE

(excerpt)

Luka Juhart – accordion
Recording published on CD – Deconstructing accordion by NEOS

Additional performances

February 2, 2020, Academy of Music, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Andraž Malgaj – accordion
October 2, 2015, ISCM World Music Days 2015, Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Luka Juhart – accordion
October 4, 2012, Sound Explicit 2012, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Luka Juhart – accordion
September 30, 2012, Museum van Bommel van Dam, Venlo, Netherlands
Luka Juhart – accordion

VIDEO

SILHOUETTE: Full recording
Luka Juhart – accordion

SILHOUETTE: Full recording
Luka Juhart – accordion

SILHOUETTE: Full recording
Andraž Malgaj – accordion

SILHOUETTE: Full recording
Andraž Malgaj – accordion

ABOUT

SILHOUETTE is a solo piece for the accordion. With its unique fingering system and mechanics of sound production, the accordion presents a singular difficulty to composers writing for it. On the other hand, it is capable of techniques and subtleties far beyond the simple melodies and chords that are often associated with it.

The opening of SILHOUETTE showcases the accordion as a highly dextrous melodic instrument, and one can almost feel Žuraj’s relish in composing for an instrument that has all of the chiselled precision of the piano, the quasi-electronic, sustained timbre of the organ and the ability to effect sudden dynamic change, even on sustained notes. Indeed, there is an unmistakeable similarity in these melodic lines and gestures to those in Žuraj’s Mouvement, for solo organ, and in Perpetuum, for organ and electronics. The latter similarity is perhaps not entirely coincidental, since Žuraj writes of Silhouette, “While experimenting [at the SWR ExperimentalStudio in Freiburg] with the violoncello and live-electronics, following a sudden acoustic feedback, cascades of seemingly uncontrollable sine tone patterns resulted, which I managed to record, analyse and subsequently use as a material for my new composition.”

The opening melodic lines span several octaves, and are soon joined by a second layer of guttural, staccato chords. This section is followed by an extended passage involving percussive, toneless striking of the instrument’s buttons. Passages of juxtaposed major and minor triads add a touch of more authentically “accordionistic” colour, which seems to take on an entirely unfamiliar aspect in the more experimental context of the piece.

SILHOUETTE is largely dominated by the higher registers of the instrument and rattles along with almost relentless energy until, a few bars from the end, it seems to run out of breath, with sighing glissandi in its deepest register. It summons up the willpower for one final, frenzied dash, but sags under the weight of another glissando, with nothing more to offer than a toneless flutter on the buttons to finish it off.

Alwyn Tomas Westbrooke

SILHOUETTE is a solo piece for the accordion. With its unique fingering system and mechanics of sound production, the accordion presents a singular difficulty to composers writing for it. On the other hand, it is capable of techniques and subtleties far beyond the simple melodies and chords that are often associated with it.

The opening of SILHOUETTE showcases the accordion as a highly dextrous melodic instrument, and one can almost feel Žuraj’s relish in composing for an instrument that has all of the chiselled precision of the piano, the quasi-electronic, sustained timbre of the organ and the ability to effect sudden dynamic change, even on sustained notes. Indeed, there is an unmistakeable similarity in these melodic lines and gestures to those in Žuraj’s Mouvement, for solo organ, and in Perpetuum, for organ and electronics. The latter similarity is perhaps not entirely coincidental, since Žuraj writes of SILHOUETTE , “While experimenting [at the SWR ExperimentalStudio in Freiburg] with the violoncello and live-electronics, following a sudden acoustic feedback, cascades of seemingly uncontrollable sine tone patterns resulted, which I managed to record, analyse and subsequently use as a material for my new composition.”

The opening melodic lines span several octaves, and are soon joined by a second layer of guttural, staccato chords. This section is followed by an extended passage involving percussive, toneless striking of the instrument’s buttons. Passages of juxtaposed major and minor triads add a touch of more authentically “accordionistic” colour, which seems to take on an entirely unfamiliar aspect in the more experimental context of the piece.

SILHOUETTE is largely dominated by the higher registers of the instrument and rattles along with almost relentless energy until, a few bars from the end, it seems to run out of breath, with sighing glissandi in its deepest register. It summons up the willpower for one final, frenzied dash, but sags under the weight of another glissando, with nothing more to offer than a toneless flutter on the buttons to finish it off.

Alwyn Tomas Westbrooke

Deconstructing Accordion (2014)

Published by NEOS

Luka Juhart

recorded pieces:
SILHOUETTE

1