Norma Beecroft

Norma Beecroft

Elegy and Two Went to Sleep

for soprano, flute, percussion and tape (1967) 8′

Friday 8 July, 2022
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The composition is in two sections. The first, »Elegy«, is essentially tonal, set for voice and flute, and selected from Leonard Cohen’s [poetry book] »Let us Compare Mythologies«. »Two Went to Sleep« (from Cohen’s »Parasites of Heaven«), by contrast, lent itself by its poetic form to juxtaposition of words and sentences – to a more contemporary treatment. It is scored for spoken voice, flute, percussion, and tape. Most of the electronic sounds are based on pre-recordings of the poem (by Mary Morrison), and of the opening passage played by the live flautist. These sounds have been transformed electronically, by filtering, reverberation, speed changes, montage, etc., and spliced together in a predetermined order.

Norma Beecroft (*1934 in Oshawa, Canada) is a composer, producer and broadcaster. Next to flute and piano, she studied composition with John Weinzweig, Aaron Copland, and at Darmstädter Ferienkurse with Bruno Maderna. She also had electronic music classes with Myron Schaeffer and worked with Mario Davidovsky at today’s Computer Music Center at Columbia University in New York. Her musical interest lies in the exploration of mixed media. In her works, the choice and blending of timbres let electronically produced or altered sounds appear more as an extension of vocal and instrumental sounds rather than as an alien alternative. Beecroft received a Major Armstrong Award with her documentary »The Computer in Music« (1976). She twice won the Canada Council’s Lynch-Staunton Award for composition. She co-founded the New Music Concerts series in Toronto in 1971 and later taught electronic music and composition, including at York University (from 1984-87).

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