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

derek charke sepia fragments
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