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Silence Greets the Dawn

for vocalising percussionist

Year:  2006   ·  Duration:  6m

Year:  2006
Duration:  6m

Ross Harris

Composer:   Ross Harris

Films, Audio & Samples

Ross Harris introduces Sile...

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Ross Harris: Silence greets...

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Ross Harris: Silence Greets...

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Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1-2

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"Today, New Zealand Forests are quiet but in 1770 Joseph Banks wrote thus about Queen Charlotte Sound: 'This morn I was awkd by the singing of the birds ashore......the numbers of them were certainly very great......' He would be shocked at the silence that greets the dawn there now" (The Lost World of the Moa, Worthy and Holdaway).

"Aotearoa's multitude of birds performed that symphony each dawn for over sixty million years. It was a glorious riot of sound with its own special meaning for it was in confirmation of the health of a wondrous and unique ecosystem. To my regret, I arrived in New Zealand in the late twentieth century to find most of the orchestra seats empty. Walking through the ancient forest.......I heard nothing but the whisper of leaves blowing in the wind. It was like the rustle of the last curtain fall on an orchestra that will be no more" (Future Eaters, Tim Flannery).

Commissioned note

Commissioned by Arnold Marinissen with funding from Creative New Zealand

Arnold Marinissen |

Text note

Spoken text consists of the Latin names of extinct New Zealand birds

Performance history

09 Aug 2006: Performed by Arnold Marinissen (voice and percussion); Victoria University, Wellington

28 Sep 2008: Performed by Arnold Marinissen in the Hunter Council Chamber at Victoria University, Wellington

19 Feb 2010: Reed and Percussion: 1

20 Feb 2010: Reed and Percussion: 2

25 Feb 2010: Reed and Percussion: 3

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