Armistice

(miniature for small orchestra).

1111,0010, timpani, 2 x perc, strings.

2007: 50 secs.

Complete Score (PDF)

  

Babylon (The Hanging Gardens)

(= Fuse + Rubicon + Jericho's Strange)

3333, 4331, 2 x perc, piano, strings.

1995-97: 15 mins. 30 secs.

  

Written between March 1995 and February 1997, Babylon (The Hanging Gardens) and is in 3 movements, each of which may be performed as a work in its own right.

Although it is not a programmatic piece it does naturally reflect (to some extent at least) my thoughts and attitudes during the years of its composition. For me, the ancient city is most strongly associated with conflicting images of beauty and corruption, and it is therefore perhaps significant that this piece was written in the Melbourne of the mid 1990’s.

Lyrics from English songwriter Peter Hammill were also very much in my mind during the period, some of this imagery doubtless finding its way into the piece as it progressed.

  

"...Babylon...

seventh wonder of the earth:

gardens ablaze in colour,

slowly rotting in the dirt...

  

...The hanging gardens sing,

but with a hollow ring..."

            from Modern, by Peter Hammill.

 

"...If you cross the stream

you never can return,

If you stay..."

            from Rubicon, by Peter Hammill.

  

"...Jericho’s strange,

throbbing with life at its heart:

people are drawn together,

simultaneously torn apart..."

            from Modern, by Peter Hammill.

  

Fuse is (as the title would suggest) short and to the point, with Rubicon being somewhat deeper and darker. Jericho’s Strange begins chaotically and in an aggressive and unsettled manner, this restlessness being eventually subdued, making way for a calmer texture that is more one of resignation than of resolution.

  

Fuse

0333, 0330, 2 x perc, strings.

1996 rev. 2006: 2 mins. 25 secs.

  

Fuse is the first movement of Babylon (The Hanging Gardens), and may also be performed as a separate work.

  

Rubicon

3033, 0010, 2 x perc, piano, violas, 'cellos, basses.

1997: 3 mins. 30 secs.

  

Rubicon is the second movement of Babylon (The Hanging Gardens), and may also be performed as a separate work.

Score Sample (PDF)

  

Jericho's Strange

3333, 4331, 2 x perc, piano, strings.

1995: 10 mins.

  

The third (and final) movement of Babylon (The Hanging Gardens), Jericho’s Strange was premiered in Brisbane in 1995 by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Sir William Southgate.

Score Sample (PDF)

Sir William Southgate

  

Eirenicon

2222, 2231, timpani, 1 x perc, harp, strings.

2000: 10 mins. 20 secs.

  

Eirenicon is defined in various sources as being:

- a proposition for peace,

- a statement to bring into harmony or synthesize conflicting doctrines,

- an articulated compromise or reconciliation.

I encountered this word while searching for a title prior to starting work on my piece. It was, coincidentally, at a time when our Prime Minister of the day had yet again passed up an opportunity to advance the cause of reconciliation with our indigenous population, but had been able to express sorrow for the plight of textile workers who had recently been thrown out of work. Indeed, I too felt sympathy for the workers involved, but their plight seemed relatively inconsequential when compared with patent violations of human rights over the course of some two hundred years. I was therefore somewhat disturbed by the priorities being displayed by our national leader, and more than a little annoyed by his obstinate refusal to reasonably address an issue that so many Australians wish to see brought to an amicable resolution. Against this background Eirenicon struck me as an eminently suitable title.

Eirenicon was commissioned by Symphony Australia with assistance from the Australia Council, and premiered by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Perth on 26/8/2000, under the direction of Kenneth Young. It is dedicated to all those who have genuinely sought to advance the cause of reconciliation.

Score Sample (PDF)

Kenneth Young

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