Lineage Percussion will be playing 'Watching in the white sunshine' at 6:00pm at the University of Georgia on 29 April. I won third prize in New Sound Publications' 2016 Call for Scores with this piece for percussion trio.
The programme note I have written for the suite of four mouvements is below. Barry painted the wonderful picture of magpies for the cover of the score.
‘Watching in the white sunshine’ is a quote from the 1924 poem The Gentle Water Bird by John Shaw Neilson, a poet born in Panolla, South Australia. The poem describes his transition from a fearful, thunder-blue state of mind to the pure white, joyous light as he observed a water bird.
The percussion trio was written for the Lineage Percussion in 2016, and is inspired by the calls of Australian birds. In the first movement, ‘By the water,’ the quiet, reclusive Australian reed warbler sings its complicated song from its hiding-place near the water. In the second movement, dawn is announced by the abrupt call of the Eastern yellow robin. The grey butcherbird then sings its long liquid song of short bubbling phrases played on tom-toms, echoed by the marimba. The third movement, ‘Rainforest,’ is more exotic. The strange-sounding Eastern whipbird stands out from the indistinct, dark background under the tree canopy. The calls of the dusty Emu in the fourth movement, ‘In the bush,’ hardly sound like birdsong. The strange elusive grunts sound through the hot, dry land and then fade away.
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