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Contemporary music for a time of change Elliott Gyger: From the hungry waiting country Stuart Greenbaum: Easter Island Elliott Gyger: From the hungry waiting.

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Presentation on theme: "Contemporary music for a time of change Elliott Gyger: From the hungry waiting country Stuart Greenbaum: Easter Island Elliott Gyger: From the hungry waiting."— Presentation transcript:

1 contemporary music for a time of change Elliott Gyger: From the hungry waiting country Stuart Greenbaum: Easter Island Elliott Gyger: From the hungry waiting country Stuart Greenbaum: Easter Island

2 From the hungry waiting country music by Elliott Gyger (2006) performed by Halcyon Alison Morgan soprano Belinda Montgomery soprano Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo-soprano Jo Burton mezzo-soprano Genevieve Lang harp

3 Part I (Wet) S1 A2 duet: Ambrosia (William Hart-Smith) He lifted a drop of ambrosia on a length of brittle straw and let the bead of nectar run back along the straw towards His hand. Lifted the straw and tilted it towards the earth again until where the droplet gathered S2 solo: Thanksgiving Hymn 14 Dead Sea Scrolls 1QH [Hebrew] I give thanks, Lord, because you have set me at the source of streams in a dry land, at the spring of water in a parched land, in a garden watered by channels…

4 A1 solo: Ishmael (Randolph Stow) Oasis. Discovered homeland. seven colours flashed. With it he touched My eyes drink at your eyes. a creature’s being, the creature of all creatures that he most loved and treasured. Noon by noon, under leaves, my dry lips seek you. One assumes the quantity was not precisely measured. S2 A1 duet: 1 Enoch 48:1 [Ethiopic] Furthermore, in that place I saw the fountain of righteousness, which does not become depleted and is surrounded completely by numerous fountains of wisdom. All the thirsty ones drank from them and were filled with wisdom, and their dwellings were with the righteous and the holy and the chosen.

5 S1 A1 A2 trio: Isaiah 45:8 [Latin] Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth be opened, and salvation spring up, and let it cause righteousness to spring up also; I the Lord have created it.

6 A1 A2 duet: Tch’mala: the Rainbow Serpent (Mark O’Connor) His mass is mountains. Roar is elder brother of the sea’s blood-purr. His rumble from Mission Beach down past Murdering Point is a palm’s back-sway, taipan’s long hiss. His trails are the endless oncomings of mist low into the water-choked valleys – his scales the mountain slopes shiny with rain; his accompanist the willful drub of rain that greets the giant toad’s rasping heat-cry. S1 S2 duet: 3 Enoch 22B:8 [Hebrew] There pour out rivers of joy, streams of rejoicing, rivers of gladness, streams of exultation, rivers of love, streams of friendship overflowing from before the throne of glory, and, gathering strength, flow through the gates of the paths of Arabot, at the melodious sound of his creatures’ harps, at the exultant sound of the drums of his wheels, at the sound of the cymbal music of his cherubim.

7 Though he breaks the good trees with the flail of his tail, through him are all hatchlings and fruit. Grass-renewer, his sperm are the eels that fall from Heaven. He restocks the swamp, fills the rock-hole above falls. Through him, what survives is reborn in water. The sound swells and bursts out in a mighty rush: Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.

8 His cave of retreat makes the dry season. His aftersign is the bridge of beauty glimpsed through shifting cloud. S1 S2 A2 trio: Odes of Solomon 30 [Syriac] Fill for yourselves water from the living spring of the Lord, because it has been opened for you. And come all you thirsty and take a drink, and rest beside the spring of the Lord. Because it is pleasing and sparkling, and perpetually pleases the self. For more refreshing is its water than honey, and the honeycomb of bees is not to be compared with it; Because it flowed from the lips of the Lord,

9 His faithful are buried in hills and reserves. S1 A1 duet: Gospel of Thomas 108 [Coptic] Jesus said, “Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I, too, will become like that person,” and it was named from the heart of the Lord. And it came boundless and invisible, and until it was set in the middle they knew it not. Blessed are they who have drunk from it, “and to that person the obscure things will be shown forth.” and have rested by it. Hallelujah.

10 A1 solo: Ishmael (Randolph Stow) The red earth arches away to gibber and dune. I shall not return to this uncharted spring.

11 Part II (Dry) A1 solo: Ishmael (Randolph Stow) Antarctic seas work statuary of ice, and sand-toothed wind, in the hungry waiting country, S1 solo: Day with its dry persistence (Vincent Buckley) In day with its dry persistence S1 A1 duet: Gospel of Thomas 74 [Coptic] He said, “O Lord,” S2 A1 A2 trio: Psalm 63:1 [Latin] O God my strength, you are of the light; I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; “there are many around the drinking trough” my flesh faints for you, in a dry and weary land without water. “but nothing in the well.”

12 In night warm with the first star raises unseen its pale memorials Down the midnight-passages Or in the small corners of silence to lioness, sphinx and man. Or at the bedside hot with death These blinding images I call to mind to mould the mind, inviting desert and sky to take me, wind to shape me, S2 A2 duet: The Memory (Elizabeth Riddell) The memory is of grass like a green pond And of the scent of melons between a drought and a rain It was autumn and the tides were always going out And all the moons were yellow.

13 A restlessness that clings and will not Be rubbed off on paper. strip me likewise of softness, strip me of love, leaving a calm regard, a remembering care. Yet there are some tempos that prefer me, Some twigs that burst with shaking Blossom and dew, some lights that are constant, Some movements of the earth that bring me Whoever loves you, whoever is loved by you, It was a gentle time without rage or anxiety As we waited for the flames to die S2 solo: Thanksgiving Hymn 14 Dead Sea Scrolls 1QH [Hebrew] But if I remove my hand it will be like the acacia in the desert, its trunk like nettles in salt flats, in its furrows thorns and reeds shoot up;

14 speaks from my heart. In constant pilgrimage to Genesis, That said, enough of speaking, A clean break now. My ghost will not come creeping. To the bright shapes and the true names, One night for words, and then my tenure ends. Oh my Lord. And for the wax to crust on the altar to brambles and thistles […] of its banks will turn into sour vines; And for the last petals to lie On the marble and gilt because of the heat its leaves wither, they do not open in the spring water. And for the singing to end And for the prayers to fail, again.

15 S1 S2 A1 trio: “Suns through a lofty bleakness fall” (Gwen Harwood) Suns through a lofty bleakness fall. Horizon, earth and sky remain. Above the aching wilderness a warmth is kindled, glows with air. Birds of prey with fiery quills scissor the fabric of the light. Time drips to stone. A child knocks over a dusty god stuck in a case. Doomed to repeat their honeycomb Bees hum in an empty mask. S1 A1 duet: Gospel of Thomas 10 [Coptic] Jesus said, “I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am watching over it until it blazes.”

16 Unbearable, a voice intones: Suffer and love, burn, shine and sing. A1 solo: Ishmael (Randolph Stow) The hawks wheel in the dawn light, the dawn breeze blows from the heart of drought, from the hungry waiting country – and what have I to leave, but this encumbering tenderness, like gear for ever unclaimed. A2 solo: Ezekiel 19:10, 12-13, 14c [Latin] Your mother was like a vine in your family planted by the water. Its fruit and leaves flourished from the abundant water. But it was plucked up in fury and cast down to the ground; the scorching wind dried up its fruit, its strong branches withered and were dried up; the fire consumed it. And now it is transplanted into the wilderness, into a trackless and thirsty land. This is a lament, and will be used as a lament.

17 S1 S2 A1 A2 quartet: Australia (A. D. Hope) A Nation of trees, drab green and desolate grey In the field uniform of modern wars, Darkens her hills, those endless, outstretched paws Of Sphinx demolished or stone lion worn away. They call her a young country, but they lie: She is the last of lands, the emptiest, A woman beyond her change of life, a breast Still tender but within the womb is dry. Without songs, architecture, history: The emotions and superstitions of younger lands, Her rivers of water drown among inland sands, The river of her immense stupidity Floods her monotonous tribes from Cairns to Perth. In them at last the ultimate men arrive Whose boast is not: ‘we live’ but ‘we survive’, A type who will inhabit the dying earth.

18 And her five cities, like five teeming sores, Each drains her: a vast parasite robber-state Where second-hand Europeans pullulate Timidly on the edge of alien shores. Yet there are some like me turn gladly home From the lush jungle of modern thought, to find The Arabian desert of the human mind, Hoping, if still from the deserts the prophets come, Such savage and scarlet as no green hills dare Springs in that waste, some spirit which escapes The learned doubt, the chatter of cultured apes Which is called civilization over there.


20 Stuart Greenbaum for instrumental septet 2007 Easter Island

21 Mardi McSullea solo flute Grania Burke bass clarinet Jennifer McNamara piano Silo String Quartet Aaron Barnden violin Andrea Keeble violin Ceridwen Davies viola Caerwen Martin cello Elliott Gyger conductor

22 prelude: uninhabited island

23 chapter 1: arrival

24 interlude 1: stone heads

25 chapter 2: expansion

26 interlude 2: premonition

27 interlude 3: stone heads (reprise)

28 chapter 3: collapse

29 elegy

30 postlude: ‘…to dust we shall return’


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