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2016 (rev. 2018)

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6 '

bjalla

for clarinet trio

‘bjalla’ (IPA: /ˈpjatla/) is an Icelandic word descended from Old Norse and closest to the English word ‘bell’. ‘bjalla’ can also translate as the verbs ‘to be noisy’, ‘to call’ and ‘to crow’. It was from these multiple dimensions of the Icelandic that this work arose, exploring the harsh and raucous characteristic of bells in addition to their purity and resonance. 


Scored for violin, clarinet and piano, bjalla balances rational and irrational qualities. The uneasy relationship between natural and mechanical elements manifests itself structurally in the contrasting spare metered and chaotic unmetered sections of the work, mirroring the dichotomous role of the bell as representing both spiritual purity and harsh metallic cacophony. 


bjalla deliberately avoids using bells in the work, instead seeking to replicate their timbral qualities using solo strings, wind and piano.

[ Cl., Pno., Vln. ]

bjallaXan Gill
00:00 / 01:04

Full instrumentation:

Clarinet in Bb, Piano, Violin

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