Caroline was, in fact, early, all nine pounds greeting the world with such alacrity her first cries almost resounded round the hospital car park. No waiting here, but ample time in the months preceding to reflect on impending fourth-time parenthood. It was during this period, with nesting instinct prevailing and thoughts focused on family, that this three-movement work was composed.
In spite of its descriptive title, it is an essentially abstract work, with the title coming after the work’s completion (the performers were adamant it was not to be called Sonata for horn and piano). However, I imagine it does carry reflections of family life – sentiments of the parent-child bond (movement 1), mercurial moods of children (movement 2), frolic, cheek and disrespect (movement 3).
Waiting for Caroline was commissioned by David Cox, Kay Cox and Anne Harrow, with funding provided from Creative New Zealand.