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Pacific 3,2,1,Zero

for voices, percussion and invented instruments

Year:  1982   ·  Duration:  25m
Instrumentation:  part 1: tuned PVC pipes, metal chimes, roto-toms, voices, trom-tubes, spun drones, rattle-jackets, kerosene cans; part 2: voices, tuned wood, metal and PVC pipe lengths, 3 tenor trombones, soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, surf sticks

Year:  1982
Duration:  25m
Instrumentation  part 1: tuned PVC pipes, me...

Composer:   Philip Dadson

Wayne Laird

Composer:   Wayne Laird

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Audio

Sample: 17:19-18:19

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Pacific 3,2,1,Zero (parts 1 and 2) is a work of protest against nuclear testing and waste dumping in Oceania. The structure is based on an image of isolated islands of acitivity connected by common waters whose currents now innocently carry nuclear contamination.

The work takes place in the round, with the instruments in Part 1 arranged centrally to indicate the symbol for nuclear disarmament.

The syllables heard in the first vocal section are taken from the names of individual islands within Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. These are mirrored and inverted in the same way as the rhythms in the music are. In a later vocal section the names of contaminated islands testing sites: Mururoa (France), Fangata'ufa (France), Christmas Island (UK/USA), Johnston Island (USA), Enewetak (USA), Bikini (USA) are sung, then shouted and drummed on tins to sound both lament and warning.

Part 2, developed in 1983, expresses hope and is dedicated to the emerging force of solidarity among the people of the Pacific.

Commissioned note

For the group, From Scratch.

Contents note

Part 1 and 2

Performance history

02 Jun 1986: Performed by From Scratch at Auckland Girls Grammar School, Auckland

13 Sep 2009: New digital version of the film of this work screened at the Going West Writers and Book Festival in Waitakere

Performed by From Scratch, with Philip Dadson (Percussion/vocals), Neville Hall (percussion/vocals/soprano saxophone), James McCarthy (percussion/vocals), and Walter Muller (percussion/vocals)

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