Mason Bates’ Anthology of Fantastic Zoology (“Sirens” Movement)

“I started looking at the huge amount of space onstage and wondered if I could create exciting ‘choreographic’ effects by breaking the mammoth string section into a collection of many soloists”

Up for a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Composition, Mason Bates’ Anthology of Fantastic Zoology’s “Sirens” movement is the lyrical core of the piece. Bates cited onstage spatial effects in this piece as one of the biggest new growth areas for him. Bates said: “Usually when composers go ‘spatial,’ they put instruments around the hall (sometimes to great effect, such as in John Corigliano’s music). But I started looking at the huge amount of space onstage and wondered if I could create exciting ‘choreographic’ effects by breaking the mammoth string section into a collection of many soloists.” In the Sirens movement, he uses two offstage violinists to lure each of the strings, one by one, into a melodic tapestry. At the end of the movement, you hear the section engulfed by The Zaratan, which according to Borges is “an animal that is an island.”

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.