Scored for flute, clarinet, vibraphone/marimba, piano, violin, viola and cello, this piece was written for performance by members of the Stockhausen’s ensemble, including parts designed specifically for Aloys Kontarsky, Siegfried Palm, and Cristoph Caskel, who, at the time, were the world’s leading performers of contemporary music. To the composer it seemed unlikely the work could ever be played in New Zealand, although it is noteworthy that Douglas Lilburn chose this as the first score to publish under his newly founded Waiteata editions imprint, such was his admiration for the composer’s achievement. However, with growing numbers of skilled and committed performers in New Zealand, ‘For Seven’ eventually received its New Zealand premiere in 1992, by the new music ensemble CadeNZa. Since then it has had several other fine performances here, and well as others in Europe. Recognition of the work’s status within our musical canon can be judged from the simultaneous CD publication of two different versions of the work, one by the UK-based ensemble Lontano conducted by Odaline de la Martinez, and another by Stroma. ‘For Seven’ was one of the first pieces to combine elements from the two major European schools of the time – the Eastern European cluster music, and the serialism of Boulez and Stockhausen. The piece consists of various lines of composed accelerandi and ritardandi, determined by a network of simple numerical ratios. These ratios also govern other aspects of the piece, such as the lengths of sections and the pitch intervals used. Combined with the highly structured ‘foreground’ material is more amorphous ‘background’ material (including some improvisatory elements), with frequent interaction between the two. Though the construction of the piece is complex, the result had a natural musicality and flow. McLeod has said that, although she was not conscious of it at the time of composition, she now hears clearly the influence of the sounds of the New Zealand bush. (Programme note: Mark Jones).