On a Balcony

for 2 instruments

Craig Vear

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for 2 instruments

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Composer Craig Vear

Year of Composition





Categories (all composers) , , , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-cv1oab1


This composition is inspired by my personal experience of sitting on a balcony in Antarctica, overlooking the frozen George VI sound which lies in-between Alexander Island and Palmer Land. This was an extraordinary place, and seemed to hold onto time as a constant, rather than linear concept as the century-old glacial meltwater would trickle into the sound – itself frozen for several centuries – bordered by two land masses, each of which were separated from their respective continents (S. Africa and S. America) during Gondwana (200 million years ago). It was here, at ‘Bluebell cottage’ that I spent Christmas 2003, surrounded by the artifacts and memories of decades of Antarctica exploration, where an extraordinary sense of all those who had ever spent time there, immersed those in the present. Sitting on the balcony, at this time, was not a quiet experience, the wind generator gently hummed in polyphony with a flag flapping, while the hourly meteorological observations on the short wave radio punctuated time; nearby the moraine meltwater trickled, and the ice quietly clicked as its surface melted, exposing the decade old bubbles of air underneath; in the distance, only once and perhaps 40 miles away, could you hear the explosion of a large chunk of ice separating from a berg. This place also inspired one of my Five Antarctic Solitudes (2004) (2. 71˚S 68˚W).

On a Balcony (2015) is the third movement of a collection of works entitled the Sea Quartet.

NOTE: These scores are based in software. Although they share many similar properties to that of paper based/traditional scoring methods, they also benefit from the usability and functionality of dynamic software environments. The visual information will be familiar to the musician and welcomed by a curious spirit of adventure. Above all, these scores are responsive, evolving as the performance progresses – giving the feeling of being alive – and should be considered as co-operative creative partners.

Please click on the score above for a full description of the concept of the work, as well as technical and performance instructions (including full instrumentation).

As sold by Composers Edition this product includes all the files necessary to perform the work including the software files and media samples. Due to the size of these files these will be delivered via online transfer. To receive your files please email [email protected] stating the operating system on which you wish to run the files: MacOS/Windows.