Devil's Music, The
Distant Shore, A
From Fire Co..
Ghosts of Reason
Going Into Sh ..
I Am Black
I Am Writing...
In Tempore Stellae
Journey to Horse..
Lines Drawn Fr..
Meaning of Water
Once upon a time
Quicksilver Ser ..
Song of Songs
Sound Lur and...
St Peter's Suite
Stick Dance II
Stick Dance III
Symphony No. 1...
Symphony No. 2...
Symphony No. 3...
To the evening...
A Distant Shore
Music by Andrew Schultz and Text by Louis Nowra
A Distant Shore commenced as an idea for a collaborative project between
Louis Nowra, Garrick Jones and myself in 1987. Subsequent grants from
the Australia Council Literature and Performing Arts Boards provided the
means for its creation. It was originally conceived as a work which could
be performed as either a song-cycle or in a staged music-theatre version
scored for small ensemble and baritone and subsequently grew into the
current version for small orchestra (consisting of three brass, harp,
piano, percussion and strings) and baritone. Most of the music was composed
in 1988 immediately after another large piece, the opera Black River.
The lyrical and lush musical style of A Distant Shore was partly a reaction
to the bruising directness of Black River; nonetheless, the works do share
many thematic and structural similarities. The score was revised and another
interlude added at the beginning of 1991.
Louis' interests in the intermingled topics of the sea, desire, love and
memory produced many rich associations for me. Hence, a number of my earlier
works such as Sea-Change for piano and Sea Call for three brass are recalled
and reworked in A Distant Shore to which they form a type of commentary;
the composer is remembering as is the man portrayed in Nowra's sensitive
text. Memory is important on another level, the work is in 11 movements
which apart from the song settings is made up of a prelude for brass and
two orchestral interludes (the second is a reworking of the first, like
deja vu). There is a continual transformation and overlapping of ideas
framed by a strong sense of symmetrical arch shape with the deliberately
sentimental sixth movement, Barcarole (scored only for baritone with prepared
piano and percussion accompaniment), as a pivot. To further suggest the
ideas of memory and time, use is made of off-stage brass in movements
7 - 9; the effect is meant to be like one of those strange fleeting memories
that never seem to get further than the edge of memory but leave one with
a bitter taste of grief. This seemed an appropriate analogy for the internal
drama of a man caught between past and present but now (as Nowra puts
it), "mostly past".
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