Title: Time’s Passing Breath
Year Completed: 2007
Duration: 13 mins
Instrumentation: Guitar Duet and electronic soundscape
Credits: Written for the Katona Twins
Premiere: 29/07/2007 Ludwigsburg Festival Ludwigsburg, Germany Katona Twins: Peter and Zoltán Katona



Purchase/Rent: Canadian Music Centre



“...and the contemporary Canadian composer Derek Charke’s Time’s Passing Breath, a piece layering the dual guitars atop a prerecorded bed of crystalline bells, their rings electronically stretched and skewed nearly beyond recognition. If such a diverse, enticing sample is representative of their repertoire, it would be surprising indeed if any audience member left without wanting to hear what other musical surprises the brothers Katona have up their black sleeves." – Colin Marshal, Santa Barbara Independent

Time’s Passing Breath was written for the Katona Twins. We met each other almost ten years ago while studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London and ever since then I’ve wanted to create a work for them.  As luck would have it we met again in the summer of 2006 during a guitar festival at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.  Over the course of the winter I started to formulate some ideas for the work and then completed the work by early Spring 2007. The idea of the passing of time and its inhalation, exhalation or ebb and flow, interested me. Since the ringing of bells signify a division of time I decided to include a soundtrack using only recorded bell sounds. Attacks are removed and what remains is the residue. The sounds are stretched and layered to create a foundation that acts as a resonance to the live guitars. In this way the work is interactive, the tape part should blend with the guitars and not distract from them. The work is somewhat nostalgic and at the same time hopeful.  The ending of the piece is much more rhythmic and the material from the opening is heard in a new light. I embrace the experimentation of sound.  At the same time I love a beautiful melody.  In this work I am exploring the amalgamation of these two worlds, one that is pure electroacoustic and exploratory and the other which is based loosely within the Western Tonal tradition. Out of this project I also created a ‘prelude’ that is purely acousmatic and to be performed by CD alone. This is my first work for guitar duet and what a pleasure it was to write it for the Katona Twins!

Media Details:

This work uses a 2 channel audio file for the soundscape. The soundscape may be performed using a CD player, MP3 player, or on a computer, etc.

derek charke times passing breath

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