The Chorale melody was written by Stravinsky in 1952, as a theme for organ improvisation by Marcel Dupre. I am grateful to Robert Craft and the Stravinsky Estate for permission to use it here. Stravinsky’s melody is played by the first trumpet in each of the three chorale settings. All three are canonic in treatment, with the texture increasing from two parts in Chorale 1 to four parts (plus a tuba bass-line) in Chorale 3. The two Interludes take off from the finale notes of the chorale. In contrast both are quick, with a somewhat Stravinskian rhythmic exhuberance; Interlude 1 is scored for a trio (excluding the two trumpets), Interlude 2 for the full quintet.
The film, In Sympathy, is based on a piece especially written for Mary Robbie, and was made to be a document of the inter-media work. The film presents Mary playing three trumpets in an unconventional fashion together with two duck-callers. The work sets out a soundscape of aural gestures, that enable the image and sounds to adopt a persona, and with which (whom) the performer interacts.
This brass octet with its somewhat dense texture of waiata-like fragments, is inspired by the spatial as well as the dynamic and energetic qualities of the mountain. The Maori title may translate as ‘The Mountain Called Wharepapa’, which is the original name for Mount Arthur in the Nelson district, a significant mountain in my childhood landscape. This piece is dedicated to the memory of my father, Tas McKee.