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Work

2001
  • for mezzo-soprano, piano and (optional) dancer/chanter
  • By:
Duration:
17' 00"

Samples

audio/mpg,937k Recording (937k) 2:17-3:17© Bruce Crossman
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Programme Note

The rich overtone resonances from low, rubber-stopped notes on the piano create sensuous single sound moments in the music. These Filipino gong music inspired resonances combine with slow European chorale-like gestures throughout to provide breath moments within an increasingly combative musical texture. The melodic-line derived from Bontok war-chant, usually the prerogative of men, finds full cry in erotic “sea ripples”, which in turn generates long-lyric lines expressive of the poem’s princess meditation on war. Even the chorale-like breath segments work in shortening gasps leading to transfigured Kulintang (Filipino percussion) segments whose dance-like momentum undergird the “metal timbre” climax of work. The text is drawn from Merlinda Bobis’ epic poem Cantata of the Warrior Woman Daragang Magayon – a revisionist re-telling of the Philippines ancient myth associated with the active volcano Mount Mayon. It charts the play of ambivalence and conviction of a beautiful maiden on the eve of battle and is interpreted by the composer as a metaphor of volcanic, erotically-fuelled anger against social injustice, not just in war but in cultural colonisation.

Text Note:
Text from a poem by Merlinda Bobis
Commissioned:
Commissioned by Dr. Merlinda Bobis, Lotte Latukefu (mezzo-soprano) and Vanessa Sharman (pianist) with the support of a Research Grant from the Centre for Artistic Exchange and Innovation, Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong
Influences:
Dedication:
Written for Lotte Latukefu and Vanessa Sharman

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