The Moon Moves Slowly [But It Crosses The Town] 2013
for large tam-tam and ensemble
by Catherine Kontz
Performed here by United Instruments of Lucilin (lucilin.lu) at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, 2015. UK PREMIERE
The Moon Moves Slowly [But It Crosses The Town] is based on the natural and choreographed sound production of a very large tam-tam. A tam-tam this large has a long response and a slow decay time, which is something I try to magnify and explore in this piece. The work is inspired by an African saying I came across while researching the notion of time. It was originally commissioned for Ensemble Lucilin at the opening of the Rainy Days Festival at the Philharmonie Luxembourg on the theme of slowness and other explorations of the notion of time.
Review by Richard Uttley
“In Catherine Kontz‘s The Moon Moves Slowly (But It Crosses The Town), a huge tam-tam is slowly worked into activity, speaking with a remarkable range of registral bands and timbral colours. The ensemble then enters—musically and literally, processing into the space—their material teasing out and elaborating strands and quantities of pitch within the dense cloud-cluster of noise emanating from the tam-tam, as though it was being subjected to a variety of different filter effects. These are in turn swallowed up in an immense coruscating crescendo, the tam-tam reaching astonishing (and very beautiful) levels of overload. It then ever so slowly ebbs away, eventually revealing the instruments once more, which continued to pull out pitch fragments that persisted within its vanishing reverberations. Simply glorious.”