Written during a month-long residency in November 2005 at the Visby International Centre for Composers, in Visby on the Swedish Baltic island of Gotland, this piece was inspired by the surroundings there- the history related to its importance in the Hanseatic League and prior to that the long Viking period; and in particular the old town with it’s beautifully preserved encircling medieval town wall.
The piece consists of seven descriptive historical episodes, and includes two poems to be narrated by the pianist in episodes 2 and 7- ‘Clouds’ and ‘Centuries’. The vocalisations are mainly sung, hummed and whistled sounds, along with the breaths of the third section indicating the onerous task of building the wall.
This music was commissioned by Daniel Belton and Good Company for his dance film, entitled Line Dances. It was written for performances in the Otago Festival of Arts, October 2010. The recording and first performances were played by the composer, in collaboration with Daniel Belton. The premiere took place in the Metro Cinema, Dunedin. The music is for 6 short films, each informed by an art work by Paul Klee. The music to these dances is intended to be performed as concert music, or prior to a screening of the films. The films themselves contain elements of the music, crafted into a soundscape by Belton. See www.goodcompanyarts.com.
A medicine bundle is part of the traditional teachings and practices of the First Nations peoples of North America. The title of this piece, which I wrote as one of the many invited composers worldwide to contribute a piece for pianist Ananda Sukarlan’s Concerts for Bali commemorating the Bali bombing of October 2002, was my response to an article published in the Toronto Star, where an elder of the Six Nations Reserve of southern Ontario spoke of a “medicine bundle” found within each of us; a place of healing and transformation which we can tap into in times of strife and need. I envisaged the bundle in this case as a bundle of notes from which the performer(s) can freely bring their own sensitivities, experiences and responses to the work’s realisation. This work was first performed by Ananda Sukarlan in Soundings Theatre, Te Papa, Wellington, in August 2003.