Afterword commissioned by the University of Auckland Orchestra and inspired by the history of Anti-Chinese riot in Indonesia. The Tubular bells imitated the bells in the Indonesia temple. The soft dynamics, diminished triads and minor tonality were used to depicting the sense of fear, anger and sadness. The intensive triplets created a sense of uncertainty about the future and feeling of hopelessness as the ethnic Chinese lost their freedom, peace and equality of human rights.
‘Aunque es de Noche’ was written for the Sydney Philharmonia Choir, and is a setting of a poem by St John of the Cross, entitled ‘Song of the Soul that Rejoices through Knowing God through Faith’. A medieval Sephardic melody is incorporated into the piece, as well some fragments of Flamenco music.
Badb (pronounced ‘badhv’ where ‘dh’ is a voiced fricative, as in ‘these’) was one of a trio of war-goddesses from Irish legend. She assumed variously the guises of a beautiful woman, an old hag, and a carrion crow. Her manifestation in the latter form was an omen of death. Before a battle she would appear in anticipation of the carnage, and as the battle took place, would flit around the heads of the warriors. Afterwards, she would feed on the corpses strewn across the fields. Like the other two battle-furies, Macha and the M’rr’gan, Badb was both sinister and sexual; she prophesied the end of the world, the fall of the gods and an endless reign of chaos. There are three distinct types of material in this piece, portraying the three juxtaposed personalities of Badb: the sinuous, seductive syrensong of sing-flute representing the mysterious, beautiful femme fatale who befriended the Irish warrior C’ Chulainn, then lured him to his death; the unearthly shrieks and battle-cries of the old hag, which were said to arouse fear and dread in the living; and the hideous crow, pecking at the flesh of the slain with bloodied maw. Much of the piano’s harmonic structure is derived and interpolated from chords representing the crow in Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux, while the notes B, A and D feature prominently through the piece.