The first in my Chaos of Delight series of pieces based on birdsong, Chaos of Delight I requires the bass clarinettiest to trill, click, screech, book and roll in a virtuosic display of avian sonorities, using the full range of the instrument, from the boom of the kakapo to the shriek of the the morepork and the bleat of the bush falcon. All these can be heard amongst sounds which exploit the unique characteristics of the bass clarinet, such as its uncannily high register, slap tonguing and multiphonics.
The title is taken from a passage in A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand by Falla, Gibson and Turbott: “…there are still many quiet places far from the madding crowd, where the mind can become, in Darwin’s phrase, ‘a chaos of delight’ at the abundance and variety of birds which pass before the eye or perplex the ear.”
The 100 Voice Chorale based on the North Shore of Auckland commissioned Denise Hulford to write a Christmas Carol for the Choir. After spending some time searching for a poem with a happy tone to it, and not being able to find anything suitable, Denise commissioned Jenny Pattrick to write a poem. The poem that Jenny provided was exciting, accessible and quite humorous. The final work was a fun and Christmas focused composition which was most successful, and approximately the length of a short Cantata. The work has been performed a number of times, and has always been well received.
Poems by Iain Lonie and Bernadette Hall, and commissioned by Tony Donaldson for performance by himself (guitar) and Robert Oliver (tenor) in 1997, with funding from Creative NZ. Originally from Dunedin, Bernadette studied Classics under Iain Lonie at Otago University. I have to thank two other Classicists with regard to the selection of these poems for setting: Andrew Barker who put me onto Iain’s poetry, and Gail Tatham who recommended Bernadette’s poems to me.
Haiku is a setting of 21 haiku written by Alan Wells, published in The New Zealand Haiku Anthology, edited by Cyril Childs (Wellington: The New Zealand Poetry Society Inc., 1993), and used with the kind permission of the poet.
Haiku, was originally written for instrumental ensemble to celebrate Douglas Lilburn’s eightieth birthday, was rearranged and given its first performance by the Dunedin-based Lyric Trio (Ana Good, Rebecca Maurice, Joyce Whitehead). The haiku are concisely set; they draw on imagery both local and universal.