Accidental Dances (symphony orchestra version)

for symphony orchestra

Oliver Iredale Searle

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for symphony orchestra

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Composer Oliver Iredale Searle
Year of Composition 2016
Duration ca.12'
Instrumentation Orchestra
Forces Picc, 2Fl, 2Ob, CA, 2Cl, BCl, 2Bsn, CBsn, 4Hn, 3Tpt, 2Tbn, BTbn, Tba, 4Perc, Timp, Hp, Strings
Categories (all composers) , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-os1ad2


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Occasionally in a film, there is a moment when somebody starts moving a certain way, and everyone around them interprets it as a dance manoeuvre, so begins to join in (a good example exists in the 1970s comedy, Airplane). I am not particularly gifted at co-ordinating body movements in a rhythmic way, and do not regularly go anywhere with the sole intention of dancing, but over the years, I have found myself in several situations where spontaneous dancing has erupted around me, and there is little I could do but join in, in my own, slightly awkward and disjointed manner. This piece explores some of those situations, by amalgamating cultural references and styles of music, gathered while on trips abroad; this includes a Chaophraya Disco (a river tour of Bangkok), a Dallas Line-Dance, a Hollywood Slowdown, and a Rathaus Waltz (impromptu waltzing in Vienna).

Commissioned with funds from the RVW Trust and an Athenaeum Award from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Revised version for the NYOS Senior Orchestra, conducted by James Lowe; first performance: 27th July, 2016, GRCH.