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Charles Royal: Baxter Songs...Embedded video
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'Baxter Songs' is a setting of three poems by James K Baxter. The three poems are 'High Country Weather', 'Let time be still' and an extract from 'Stephanie'. The first two poems were composed early in the poets career and express his more romantic sentiments. When I hear these poems, I think of Baxter as a young poet in the South Island (Otago and Canterbury universities) exploring the Otago hinterland. I think, too, of the early days of his relationship with Jacqui Sturm and imagine the two of them exploring the hills and mountains. The extract from 'Stephanie' is from much later in Baxter's life. He is older now and life has had its way with Baxter (or perhaps the other way around?). The poem follows a family tragedy and there is a sense of heartbreak in the voice.
Late secondary school, early tertiary students
Three movements comprising settings of the following Baxter poems - High Country Weather, Let time be still and an extract from Stephanie
All texts are by James K Baxter and the copyright to the poems is owned by the James K Baxter Trust. Use of the texts has been approved by John Baxter and Assoc Prof Paul Millar of the James K Baxter Trust.
There is a brief interlude in Māori in piece one (High Country Weather), Māori text is by Charles Royal.
14 Apr 2011: Performed by Howard McGuire (baritone) and Charles Royal (piano) at the WEL Energy Academy of Performing Arts, Waikato University, Hamilton.
05 Jul 2011: Performed by Howard McGuire (baritone) and Charles Royal (piano) at LATE at the Museum, Auckland Museum, Auckland.
07 Sep 2011: Performed at the Inaugural Professorial lecture by Professor Charles Royal (piano) and Howard McGuire (baritone) at the Kenneth Myers Centre, University of Auckland, Auckland.