Anamnesis by Matan Franco

Anamnesis by Matan Franco


This work was composed specifically for the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra as part of the inaugural Victorian Community Orchestra Project, for performance at the Gala Concert on August 24th, 2019. As stated on its website, the goal of the Victorian Community Orchestra Project is to “bring together all community musicians of Victoria to celebrate community music with new Australian compositions”. This year, eight ensembles will perform the world-premiers of eight original compositions, as well as five new arrangements - what a fantastic achievement for the VCO’s first year! I am incredibly honoured to have been selected for this opportunity, and at the outset would like to thank Sally Burgess, Zoe Knighton and Jenny Khafagi at the VCO Project for creating and facilitating this wonderful initiative and program - may it continue to grow from strength to strength.

I would also like to thank all the musicians of the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra, as well as Cally Bartlett, Beth Pennington and Luke Severn - I am honoured to have my music brought to life by such a wonderful ensemble. Straddling both concert and film/media music in my creative practice, my work understandably tends to be an amalgam of styles and influences. With Anamnesis, I wanted to explore a Pandiatonic harmonic language - that is, the use of the diatonic scale or mode (as opposed to the chromatic scale) but without the limitations of functional tonality. In this approach, the conventional hierarchical ordering of the scale degrees and the relationship between them (ie the gravitational pull of a leading tone to its tonic, or the dominant to the tonic) is lessened, or dispensed. As such, the harmony, when used in this way, has a tendency to feel both familiar and yet slightly different.

Anamnesis is a philosophical concept developed by Plato in his epistemological and psychological theory, which suggests that humans posses innate knowledge (perhaps acquired before birth) and that learning consists of rediscovering that knowledge within us, or recovering what was forgotten. I feel this speaks to the way in which the musical material in this piece develop and unfold, somewhat organically or inevitably - as if a rediscovery, or recovery or sorts.

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