The Flute Concerto was composed for flutist Alexa Still (Principal flute, NZSO) in 1993 while Ritchie was Composer-in-Residence with the Dunedin Sinfonia (now Southern Sinfonia). Unlike the Symphony “Boum” , written in the same year, this concerto is a generally happy and open-sounding work, and reflects aspects of Alexa Still’s personality as well as her playing. She first performed the concerto on September 4th, 1993 in The Glenroy Auditorium, and subsequently recorded it with The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Ixion’s Wheel was written during the composer’s term as Mozart Fellow in 1993. The work is dedicated to Katherine Austin (piano) and Richard Foreman (clarinet), who gave the premiere performance in the Illot Concert Chamber, Wellington, during the ExtravaCANZa festival of November 1994. Mythology tells that on account of his aggression and lust, Ixion was lashed to a blazing wheel by Zeus, and sent whirling through the air to eternity. This work is the composer’s response to the sad fate of Ixion.
The notion of “form as a product of growth” was central to the process of composing kontinuum 1. A network of interrelated material is evolved from a single cell and it is the subsequent linking, overlapping and extending of this material generates the piece’s thirteen short movements. Thus, rather than seeking contrast, all thirteen movements explore the same ideas, as if viewing the same object from many different angles. It is hoped that each movement has a very clear exterior shape which can be easily apprehended by the listener on first hearing the work. Within this is an interior containing sonic events that are extremely detailed, both in their make up and in their relationships to one another.