Title: Sepia Fragments
Year Completed: 2009
Duration: 13 mins
Instrumentation: String Quartet
Credits: Co-commissioned to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the St. Lawrence String Quartet by The Huckabone Family and CBC Radio
Premiere: Nov 12, 2009 UPEI, Charlottetown, PEI: St. Lawrence String Quartet



Purchase/Rent: Canadian Music Centre



“Derek Charke’s smeared lines and quivering textures have an immediate appeal...” – Elissa Poole, The Globe and Mail

Imagine viewing a series of sepia toned images, side by side, as you walk past. Sepia Fragments is, in a way, a collage. It is an experiment in juxtaposing divergent material through variation form. The opening features a slow and original fiddle tune from the present. Fragments of harmonics and trills – fleeting, darting – accompany the melody. A reel begins in 5/8 time as the music becomes more animated. We encounter abstracted quotations from Schumann, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky, transformed and unrecognizable. A quasi-folk melody sounds before chaos ensues and memories fade. Dissonant material is introduced. The music builds several times before it finally gives up. What remains is slow and introspective – a chorale-like ending, the first violin hinting at remembrances from the near and distant past. The closing becomes a transformation of the opening. Fading from nothing... to nothing. I want to thank the members of the St. Lawrence String Quartet for this wonderful opportunity, and I congratulate them on their twentieth anniversary! I particularly want to thank the Huckabone Family for their generous contribution and support of this new work. Sepia Fragments won the 2012 JUNO Award for ‘Classical Composition of the Year



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