Talk about inspiration from life's tribulations!
Insomnia drove top Australian composer Brett Dean to get his sleep patterns checked out. He was only getting about 20 minutes’ shut-eye a night.
The experience of polysomnography, the complicated tests used to measure sleep and diagnose disorders, inspired and gave name to his latest work, commissioned for Southern Cross Soloists which is led by his brother Paul on clarinet.
The five short movements - Theta Waves, Myoclonus, Sleep Spindles, Delta Waves and Dream Sequence - plot the different phases of a night’s sleep, or lack of it.
S+S were joined for this concert by Lebanese flautist and humanitarian Wissam Boustany, who lives in London and who has carved out an international career playing concerts and conducting master classes and workshops.
Dean’s piece mimics wave patterns, snores (in the breathy horn passages) and the sudden spikes in brain activity, using the clarinet’s top register.