On May 25 2010, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill, also known as “Three Strikes” legislation, sponsored by David Garrett, the ACT Party, and the Sensible Sentencing Trust, and supported by the National Party, under Prime Minister John Key. The law imposes mandatory maximum sentences on offenders who commit three “Strike” offences, removing judicial discretion. An almost identical bill was passed in California in 1994. California’s crime rate remains 11% above the national average, its prison population has increased to nearly 200,000, and its recidivism rate is the highest in the United States.
Robyn Ravlich is a poet and executive producer of the Radiophonic Unit of ABC Radio National in Australia. The three poems are from ‘Songs for Salome’, published in her collection of poems, The Black Abacus (1971). Each describes different aspects of women and love. Reckless Blues begins with text lines from a Bessie Smith song, and musically, draws on blues idiomatic sounds; Elegy for Judy Garland borrows from the laid-back ballad of the late 1930s-1940s made popular by Judy Garland; and Model reflects the brittle, driving world of the fashion model through constantly changing metres and a staccato repeated figure. The songs were commissioned for, and broadcast on, ‘The Coming Out Ready or Not Show’, ABC Radio 2, in November 1975, performed by Angela Giblin (soprano) and Linn Robertson (piano).
An orchestral overture which has been described as “… a highly successful piece that could bear repetition not just in this context (Pops concerts) but in more traditional concerts.” Evening Post February 1993.
It has already had over 20 performances by four different orchestras and works well with a live juggler.
seen was written as music for dance in collaboration with choreographer Justyna Janiszewska. It explores the boundary between what is seen and unseen, know and unknown, heard and unheard. The music for this piece is built upon ideas influenced by gamelan music, mainly the idea of building a rhythmic texture up from the one rhythmic line layered on to of itself at different speeds. Each section explores a different aspect of the relationship between these different layers. However, this rhythmic framework itself is never fully exposed, and so itself remains unheard while it exerts an influence on the piece from a distance.