In April 1981 Denise Hulford ‘discovered’ Sam Hunt’s poem DREAMS and was immediately impressed with the very descriptive words which became an inspiration for this setting of the poem for Mezzo-Soprano and Flute. As a composer and singer Denise Hulford has been fascinated by the voice and its potential for manipulation whilst being able to blend with other timbres.
James K. Baxter is New Zealand’s most well-known poet. He wrote in a wide variety of styles and genres, including the traditional ballad form, of which Lament for Barney Flanagan is a prime example. It contains a classic Baxter mix of humour and pathos, lively in spirit but focussed on the subject of death, in this case the heart-attack of an overweight publican. The music is simple and strong, allowing the witty lyrics to speak for themselves, but also adding occasional wry touches of word-painting.