This work borrows ideas from the Cook Islands where I spent 6 months in 1988. I studied the traditional music and instruments and have been greatly influenced ever since. arc of the sun is in three sections (dawn/day/dusk) featuring some Cook Island musical ideas and characteristics – a fusion of their exciting instrumental drum dance and vibrant polyphonic vocal music.
As a work for wind orchestra, arc of the sun was first performed in 1997.
2200;timp,perc;strs with optional additional parts for a third flute, 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 horns in F, 2 trumpets in B-flat and 2 trombones. Percussion requirements: 2 timpani (25", 28") triangle, suspended cymbal, tambourine, cymbals, optional bass drum if pedal timpani unavailable
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.
Commissioned by the Christchurch Youth Orchestra and premiered by them, it has subsequently been played by the Auckland Philharmonia, in Australia and in the USA by the Eugene Symphony Orchestra. It is full of pounding rhythms and a vital sense of action and movement as befits a work which takes the Haka as its inspiration.