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Dragon, Unfolding

    2*2*2*2  2*2*0*0 Timpani (5 drums), 1 Perc, Piano, Strings [Percussion Requirements:  Brake Drum, Large Bass Drum, Crotales, Low Suspended Cymbal, Windchimes, Vibraphone, Medium Suspended Cymbal, Xylophone, Snare Drum, Rattle (eg. pod rattle), Roll of Pap

    Duration: ca. 10 minutes
    Composed: 2018

    Programme Note: In 2001, NASA physicist Robert Lang quit his job to follow his true passion: origami!

    Origami is the art of folding paper already well-established in Japan by the 1600s when messages of good luck were folded into ceremonial pieces. The goal is to transform a flat piece of paper into a three dimensional sculpture through a series of folds and turns. Lang is one of the foremost origami artists and theorists in the world, known for his complex and elegant designs of insects and animals.

    An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds one thousand paper cranes will be granted a wish. A thousand paper cranes are traditionally given as a wedding gift or to a new baby. The thousand paper cranes were further popularized through the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who was exposed to radiation at the age of 2 during the bombing of Hiroshima. She developed leukemia and, at the age of 12 after spending a significant amount of time in hospital, began her goal of folding a thousand paper cranes.

    She was only able to fold 644 before she died in October, 1955.

    In Japanese mythology and folklore, the dragon were believed to signify wisdom, success, and strength. In creating Dragon, Unfolding, I speculate about what would happen if one folded a thousand paper dragons? The piece is in a single movement, strong, and energetic. You hear drama of the dragon being formed, rising, and taking flight.

    Dragon, Unfolding, was commissioned by Symphony Nova Scotia through the Maria Anna Mozart Award. I am honoured to be the first recipient, and extremely thankful for the generous support of Dr. Jane Gordon in creating this opportunity.

    Premiere: First performance  by Symphony Nova Scotia through the Maria Anna Mozart Award, Halifax, March 2018.

    Kelly-Marie Murphy, composer