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...
Southern Ocean (1999)
Southern Ocean was commissioned by Symphony Australia for the Fiftieth
Anniversary of the Intervarsity Choir Festival and the Tasmanian Symphony
Orchestra conducted by David Porcelijn. The work is a setting for choir
and orchestra of a new text by Margaret Scott and was composed in 1999.
The text has beautiful and dramatic nautical imagery and is set in a town
in southern Tasmania. It contrasts contemporary experience with the sometimes
violent history of the town against a backdrop of the ocean's many faces.
The piece falls into three large choruses and two dialogues for male and
female voices. The mood of place and time and a commentary on addressing
the past as we move towards the millennium emerge as themes in the outer
sections; the middle sections are a series of optimistic reflections from
the shore. The drama of the natural environment and the toughness of the
human spirit in enduring natural and man-made storms are key ideas throughout.
The Southern Ocean was of interest because of the immensity of its natural
forces as well as its imaginative and mythical position in the Australian
consciousness - a vast ocean of unbroken waves, great icebergs and terrible
peril for sailors (past and present) yet also the route for much migration
to Australia in the nineteenth century. Hence, embodying hope and fear.
The focus on the sea is important - the image of people struggling from
the sea to create a new life seemed a good metaphor for the Anniversary
of the Intervarsity choral movement; that is, extreme optimism and determination
to create art and beauty in the face of any number of obstacles.
Musically, the idea of the unbroken wave that rises, propels and swamps
within an ocean of continual momentum, was firmly in my mind.
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