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'Breathing Space', an accordionist's perspective

'Breathing Space', what an evocative name for refering to one's home. Lewis Murphy's piece for viola and accordion really matches in character and sound what as listeners would expect from its title. The sound-world created is completely relaxing, comfortable and full of little breaths (actual musical rests).

This concept matches perfectly with the characteristics of the accordion. Lewis uses the instrument here as a real breathing element, having long chords that act as a harmonic texture that flows changing note by note and is shaped as a calm human breathing. It can be appreciated how the accordion is able to keep sustained sound and 'move' it dynamic-wise speaking, not only letting it fade but controlling it according to the piece's direction. This is probably the element that blends with the viola sound in the best way and that makes the instrumental combination balanced and unique.

It can also be appreciated the different contrasts and articulation possibilities that the instrument can achieve, especially in the faster section where all kind of staccatti, tenutti and sharp or round note endings appear.

Finally, the use of different registers (mainly in the right hand keyboard) is an element that enhances the sound, helps bringing melodies and voices out and supports the different moods that can be found in 'Breathing Space'.

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