This work attempts to shake off ‘the blues’ with playful and vigorous musical ideas. It starts slowly and in sombre mood but this is quickly swept aside by a jolting ‘allegro’. A number of motivic-like themes are presented, and linked together during the piece. The syncopated idea at the beginning recurs as a kind of rondo theme in this one-movement work. ‘Goodbye to Blues’ was commissioned by the Christchurch Youth Symphonic Band and CSM, with funding from Creative NZ. It was first performed on the band’s tour of Hawaii, in 1992. While presenting some challenges to younger players it is not overly demanding in terms of technique.
Music is a tone poem about a breed of horses known as the Camargue and the delta region of the Rhone River on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea where they roam. Adapted from the poem by Roy Campbell (1901-1957).
“a politically inspired pilgrimage from from naivety to cynicism travelled through wittily twined and increasingly dour revisions of anthems with dwindling heraldic phrases.” – Marian Poole, Otago Daily Times
When writing Progress March I became increasingly distressed at the direction that the current leadership (NACT) in our country is taking us. The dissolution of elected representatives of Environment Canterbury (ECAN) and power to alter Water Conservation Orders by the government appointed commissioners – all for short-term commercial interests; potential mining of schedule 4 areas of our National parks; the mess that is the Auckland Supercity; continued attacks and underfunding of Radio New Zealand; and a litany of other abuses by our supposedly representative politicians have all saddened me. Progress March celebrates greed and misuse of power using original material as well as fragments of God Defend New Zealand, the Star Spangled Banner and Sumer is Icomen In, a 13th Century song celebrating the bucolic joys associated with the arrival of summer.
Ray is a keen fly fisherman. The three movements – “Pomare Creek”, “Mitchell Lake” and “Canmore” were composed to celebrate the sites of his greatest fishing success stories. These stories have been known to be augmented with a modicum of embellishment from time to time!