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Transient Skies

From the program notes:

”The thought of using clouds as a structural idea and inspiration for a large orchestral piece had been with me for a long time. So the other year I started to study clouds more in depth. But other commissions such as Solar Flares, an orchestral work inspired by the sun’s corona for the Baltic Sea Festiva 2010 and Swarms 2011 a chamber piece inspired by the phenomenon of animal swarming, came in between.

The four movements all originate from the same material, depicting four different cloud structures found at different atmospheric levels.

King of Clouds is the most grandiose, inspired by the great thunder cloud, Cumulonimbus.

Mackerel Skies and Sun Dogs represent the cirrus world, with clouds consisting of ice crystals, beautiful and crisp, but they can also signal bad weather. Sun Dogs is a certain kind of halo effect that creates ”extra suns” beside the sun.

Morning Glory is a type of roll cloud, rolls a clouds stretching out for miles, that only forms on the Australian coast. In the music they become large warm waves through the use of scale runs and swells in the orchestra.

Shapeshifters are the clouds that look like things, of the same basic material but ever changing. Cumulus and altocumulus - fair weather clouds. These clouds are marching, dancing forward...

I use clouds as a starting point because they can’t be captured. Everything is possible.

And the music is open to interpretation. There is no hidden agenda, no story, only the idea of the character of the different clouds.

In fact, when the compositional work is in progress the music takes over and lives its own life.”

copyright 2017 Katarina Leyman


for symphony orchestra

I. King of Clouds

II. Mackerel Skies and Sundogs

III. Morning Glory

IV. Shapeshifters

Durata approx. 40-45 min

2*2*2*2* 4231 12 1 str, cel/pf 

Publisher: SMIC

A commission by NorrlandsOperan

First performance September 13th 2012

NorrlandsOperan Symphony Orchestra, cond. Joana Carneiro

Umeå, NorrlandsOperan