Jason Eckardt (1971)

Tongues (2001)

for soprano, flute, bass clarinet, guitar, viola and percussion

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2001
    • Duration: 28 mn
    • Publisher: Majolika
    • Commission: Koussevitzky Foundation pour le Libra Ensemble
Detailed formation
  • 1 solo soprano, 1 flute (also 1 piccolo), 1 bass clarinet, 1 guitar, 1 viola, 1 percussionist

Premiere information

  • Date: 14 August 2001

    Australie, North Melbourne Town Hall


    Libra Ensemble, Deborah Kayser, soprano.

Program note

    <p>The title of this work refers to glossolalia, better known as "speaking in tongues," an ecstatic outburst of unintelligible vocal sounds that resembles spoken language. The vocal writing in <em>Tongues</em> evokes the volatile grip of possession that is said to hold the human vessels through which the divine or supernatural passes. In six sections that vary in instrumentation and character, the soprano articulates sounds that suggest the transformation from self-awareness to rapture. These sounds, not limited to phonetic utterances, often reflect the timbral properties of the accompanying ensemble. The soprano oscillates between influencing and imitating her instrumental counterparts, alternately supporting, amplifying, and leading the ensemble.</p><p><em>Tongues</em> was commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation for the Libra Ensemble, who gave its first performance on 14 August, 2001, North Melbourne Town Hall, Australia, with Deborah Kayser, soprano.</p><p><em>Jason Eckardt.</em><br /></p>