Piece for Piano & Percussion Duo – Shameless by Samuel Penderbayne
Performed live at the Dutch national Radio4, NPO
Commissioned in 2018 for the IInd edition of The Dutch Golden Collection.
Percussion – Konstantyn Napolov – Adams percussion instruments, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth and Mike Balter Mallets
Piano – Eke Simons
On the Dutch Golden Collection Foundation website, you can find more information about the projects and composers.
ABOUT WORK – Shameless is a short, dense and theatrical work written for Konstantyn Napolov & Eke Simons as part of The Dutch Golden Collection. The primary stimulus for the work was to find the point where physical instrumental virtuosity combines effectively with theatrical performance. “On one hand, I wanted to write fast-paced, challenging music for the two great musicians, that would push their physical limits and force them to jump theatrically to the extreme registers of their instruments.
On the other hand, I wanted to involve their outgoing personalities through vocalisations, shouts and physical movements that enhance the physicality of the music – through shaking fists, pointing and yelling and creating a pre-linguistic dialogue of vocal sounds. Compositionally, the work is structured around processes, such as systematic transposition, incremental motivic development, and deconstruction of primary and secondary voices. Aesthetically, the main aim was one of a sport-like, extroverted play with the audience. This can be seen in the three main sections: the first is a sort of cat-and-mouse between the percussion and piano, sometimes together, sometimes separate; the second is a loud and “shameless” cacophony of yelling, piano clusters and opera gongs; the final part is a relatively soft and withdrawn meditation that should give the work a surprisingly calm finish”.
ABOUT COMPOSER – Samuel Penderbayne was born in 1989 in Canberra, Australia, and studied music in Sydney, Munich and Hamburg. His early experiences with music came from playing guitar and keyboard in rock bands and producing simple pieces of electronic music. An influential introduction to classical music came through buying a box of Deutsche Grammophon CD’s at a closing-down sale, igniting a long-lasting passion for classical music which culminated in an invitation from composer Moritz Eggert to study music in Munich, Germany.
As a hobby singer and multi-instrumentalist, Samuel has always performed side-by-side in both classical and mainstream-oriented ensembles and bands. Recently, his work has attempted to combine these two approaches and find connections between the contemporary classical tradition and modern commercial music genres. This can occur either at a superficial level by including electronic instruments, vocal “belting” or specific references to genres in the thematic material, or on a deeper level through abstracting the concept of hook lines, grooves, performance aspects and popular accessibility to his compositions.
Opera and music theatre have provided an opportunity to combine the diverse aesthetic and compositional materials of this approach into a musical and dramatic narrative. Works include Alice im Wunderland (experimental musical, 2014, Prinzregententheater, Munich), I.th.Ak.A. (chamber opera, 2018, Hamburg State Opera), Die Schneekönigin (chamber opera, 2019, Deutsche Oper Berlin) and Fucking Åmål (large-scale opera, 2020, Hamburg State Opera).