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Fonterra's Mad(rigal)

for orchestra

Year:  2006   ·  Duration:  10m
Instrumentation:  3*333; 4331; timp., perc, hp; strings | (Perc: gong, snare drum, 2 susp. cymbals, tub. bells, bass drum, tambourine, tam-tam, vibraphone)

Year:  2006
Duration:  10m
Instrumentation  3*333; 4331; timp., perc, h...

Chris Adams

Composer:   Chris Adams

Films, Audio & Samples

Chris Adams: Fonterra's Mad...

Embedded audio
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With (special) thanks to all those in the Canterbury Region who run or own high-intensity Dairy Farms or use other wasteful water practices and those who are directly responsible for safeguarding the environment (WRT, ECAN) but then have only their personal best interests at heart.

Vedi le valli e i campi che smaltano

(See the valleys and the meadows painted)
Di color mille; e con la piva e'l crotalo
(in a thousand colours; and the shepherds,)
Intorno ai fonti i pastor lieti saltano.
(with bagpipes and crotales, leaping happily around the springs.)

“[a] recent NIWA investigation...found that 90% of the lowland streams in New Zealand are polluted,...many dangerous for swimming... Most streams and rivers on the east coast of the South Island have been seriously dewatered by irrigation...[with] countless other rivers...threatened by water draw-off and agricultural pollution.”
John Kent, letter to Editor, The Press, Jan 25th, 2006.

This piece takes the juxtaposition of the two images above as a starting point; the first nostalgically referring to the traditional golden age when shepherds symbolised balance and harmony between people and the land, and the other current and bleaker image where unsustainable farming practices and over-extraction of water from our rivers has had a considerable negative impact.

Performance history

02 Sep 2009: 2009 NZSO-SOUNZ Readings 2

Performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in a workshop recording session