Miriama Young: Kinds of Blue

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Portrait of Miriama Young outside, looking up into the sky
Miriama Young, New Zealand–Australian composer (Image: Ishna Jacobs)
Miriama Young is a New Zealand–Australian composer, sound artist and educator.

She graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, then with a Fulbright pursued a PhD at Princeton, USA. Young is now based at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Her work with film has attracted awards at major festivals worldwide, her installations have featured at Vivid Sydney, and her radio work on National Public Radio (USA), ABC (Australia), and Radio New Zealand.

Young’s work is featured on several recordings and albums, including ‘Iron Tongues’ on Strike Percussion’s album Strike: New Zealand Percussion Music (NZ Classical Album of the Year, 2001). From Norway to New Zealand, her music is performed by ensembles as varied as Sydney Symphony, Scottish Opera, and Syzygy Ensemble. Her portrait album will soon be released on ABC Classic (Australia).

[blockquote author=”Paul Cezanne”]

Blue gives colour its vibration


Kinds of Blue

New CSO commission

Kinds of Blue bathes in a palette of blue sonorities and bluesy, suspended textures.

The work draws inspiration from four of Mark Rothko’s blue-centric works, and also from the blue renderings in Derek Jarman’s Chroma.

Jarman says that without darkness, we wouldn’t perceive light.

The piece is divided into four seamless sections:

1. Crisp cool turquoise (after Rothko Blue Divided by Blue, 1966)

2. Prussian blue in different densities, cool blue with crimson, and a touch of indigo (after Rothko Blue, Green, and Brown, 1952)

3. Phthalo blue, muted white, with indigo base (after Rothko Blue and Grey, 1962)

4. ‘Inner Light’ (after Rothko No. 61 (Rust and Blue), 1953)

The work is dedicated to my mother, who possesses perfect pitch, of colour.

© Miriama Young, 2023

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