Threnody (Sikuigvik)

version for open instrumentation ensemble and glacier ecoacoustics (2015)

Threnody (Sikuigvik) was composed at the request of the US State Department for performance during President Obama’s 2015 visit to Alaska. The work was first presented as an installation in the Anchorage Museum of Art as music emanating from inside an 800lb block of glacier ice, a sonic sculpture installation created with architect, Garrett Burtner. The electronic sound was also used as interstitial music during Obama’s GLACIER conference. The original soundtrack version of the piece, without live instruments, was published on the “Glacier Music” album by PARMA Records. This ensemble version was created later so that the music could have a concert life with live musicians. Sikuigvik, an Inupiaq word meaning “the time of ice melting” is the title of Burtner’s first ecoacoustic piece, Sikuigvik (1997). This “threnody” commemorates the unprecedented and brutal loss of ice since the late 1990s, a scale of melting we did not imagine was possible at the time.

(the audio excerpt above includes the backing track, but no instruments)


instrumental score and electronics
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