Program notes

Lake moonrise for mezzosoprano and ensemble, opus 94 (2013)

Lake moonrise is a setting of a text by the composer that reflects on an experience many years ago of being awestruck by a commonplace but compellingly beautiful event in nature. In this case, a stunning moonrise over Lake Cootharaba in Queensland observed from a fire-wrecked palm valley where the burnt trees were adorned by red slashed black cockatoos with their shrieking calls. The work is four minutes in duration and in the form of a prelude and fugue. It is scored for mezzo-soprano, clarinet, vibraphone and cello and was composed for Halcyon in 2013 as a part of their Kingfisher project.



Others saw it sang it better,

others saw it knew it better –

each tree, bird, rock, bone –

dreamed it best.

Others saw it and stayed silent –

such restraint.

Others saw it, said too much

as though it’s theirs the first time ever.

For this moment must be sung

not silent;

songs all new or a copy

of the other songs, moons and lakes.


Now we circle moonrise, water, death,

without real hope of

finding them at last our own.

Instead we hide in postscripts and addenda,

not daring to believe

we can make the old things new again:

the old bones sing, the stones to dream again,

the burnt valleys

shrill with calls before unheard.

© Andrew Schultz, 2013.