Program notes

From Fire Country for bass clarinet, opus 64c (2003)

From Fire Country is a work for bass clarinet solo that was commissioned by the Dutch performer Henri Bok. The work was written in April 2003 and the first performance was given at the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden, Holland, in May 2003. The Australian premiere of the work was given by Floyd Williams at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane in April 2004. The work is about 6 minutes in duration and explores the full range of the instrument with an emphasis on the lowest octave and lyrical qualities of the instrument.

The title derives in part from the work Journey to Horseshoe Bend, which was composed just before this work. The third section of that work is set in a desolate landscape, in Central Australia, of red cliffs and burnt rocks known as ‘Fire Country’ in Aranda Aboriginal mythology. The bass clarinet perhaps evokes the desolate quality of a landscape after fire.

© Andrew Schultz, 2003