They move differently here…

Genevieve Murphy stands in the centre of a blue washed stage, with members of Ensemble Offspring seated around her.

Ensemble Offspring’s clarinettist, Jason Noble had an opportunity mid-way through the European tour to share some thoughts on the premiere of a new collaboration with Scottish composer Genevieve Murphy.  

I was almost tempted to write a piece on bicycle riding, as people do indeed move differently over here, but the subject of this piece was arachnophobia. They Move Differently Here by Genevieve Murphy was premiered at Theater Kikker in Utrecht as part of Gaudeamus Muziekweek. The piece was generously commissioned by Charles Davidson.

The necessity of travel to Australia to workshop some ideas with us presented a major hurdle, her fear of spiders. So, after a few visits to a therapist to treat her phobia, Genevieve ventured to Australia late 2018. She presented recordings of her therapy sessions and used these as a vehicle for players to improvise material.

Composer Genevieve Murphy, commissioner Charles Davidson and EO Artistic Director Claire Edwardes.

Fast track to September 2019, and we had four days to put together a 30-minute piece for the festival. The result was a multidisciplinary work sewn together with a few band numbers. Highlights included Veronique (violin) physically gesturing like a spider, a duet with auto-tune clarinet and korg minilogue synth, looping of analogue tapes, communal laughing fits and Genevieve’s narrative journey in tackling her fears.

Was it merely the means for the composer to overcome these fears, or an intriguing work? Your chance to see it and make up your own mind up in Sydney in 2020 when the work is re-staged.

See the Solitude page for the full European schedule.