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In this work, inspired by Paekakariki on the Kapiti Coast - 'home' during the composer's six-week residency at Victoria University in 1989 - the relationship between music and environment is particularly strong. The cello's low repeated D, which opens the piece, is the fundamental pitch heard in the sea and the restless semi-quavers evoke the continuous movement of waves crashing on the Paekakariki shore. Whitehead's fascination with medieval philosophy and music, incorporating concepts of natural cycles, is reflected both in the title and in the compositional process, where magic squares were used to generate the background structure. (Programme note by Emma Carle and Jack Body).
"This is a rich evocative piece that is never merely picturesque, as the title might suggest. It has a lyrical complexity reminiscent of Tippett... (it) achieves moments of great beauty." (Tim Bridgewater, The Dominion).
"The highlight for me was the premiere of Gillian Whitehead's Moon Tides, and Shoreline. ... Perhaps there are marine associations to be heard in the score, but, more importantly, one appreciates the work's cool and eminently logical form. The various musical motifs are inventive in themselves and intriguingly handled." (William Dart, Music in New Zealand)
Commissioned by: Music Federation of New Zealand (Now Chamber Music New Zealand)
28 Sep 1992: Performed by the New Zealand String Quartet; Napier
16 Aug 1994: Performed by the New Zealand String Quartet
13 Mar 2010: Aroha Quartet on The Terrace
18 Jul 2010: Aroha Quartet: Mulled Wine Concert
24 Sep 2010: Aroha Quartet: Whangarei
25 Sep 2010: Aroha Quartet: Rotorua
26 Sep 2010: Aroha Quartet: Putaruru
03 Oct 2010: Aroha Quartet: Tauranga
28 Jun 2011: Performed by the Geminiani Quartet at St Michael Cornhill as part of the 2011 City of London Festival, in London
Gillian Whitehead: CD2; CD