M A R T I N   G E O R G I E V

c o m p o s e r   &   c o n d u c t o r

c o m p o s i t i o n s   b y   c a t e g o r y

E N S E M B L E 



For Chamber Ensemble (16 Players)

Commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music

Completed: 28.01.2009

Duration: c.a. 8 min

World Premiere: 10.03.2009, Royal Academy Manson Ensemble, Franck Ollu cond.

Location: Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London




Cl. in A


Hn. in F

Tr. in C




Perc. (1) : Mar., Bass dr. Tam-t

2 Vn




Programme Note

(from the Premiere performance – 2008)

Premonitions marks a new, further stage in my work on constructing a new harmonic system based on key features of Bulgarian medieval Orthodox modality. Like other contemporary approaches, most notably Spectral composition and Pärt’s Tintinnabuli style, it aims to strengthen the intuitive connection to listener’s perception by engraving universal natural principles of sound construction and the way it is perceived by the human mind in the foundation of a new harmonic language. Within my approach I explore the shifting modality of medieval Orthodox chant and its further interpolation in morphing polymodal structures, as well as specific modes involving advanced use of tritones and augmented seconds. Although in my works up to date this approach has always involved an apparent melodic connection with the chant (which is still present in a few sections of this work), the most of Premonitions doesn’t involve such connection, thus providing the independence of this harmonic approach from any apparent historical and ethnic associations. Thus the system could provide the abstract playground for any stylistic exploration and its diversity is giving infinitive possibilities for variation of mood and imagery. In this piece I am also outlining generic material for the three central images in my chamber opera The Mirror on which I am working at the moment. Life, being a pulse, Death – a steeply rising line and the Human with its curved, expressive gestures intertwine in the misty brooding of a troubled mind, sometimes scared, but always hoping.

Martin Georgiev