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Waitemata Waltz No. 1 - "Dance of the Harbour Ferries"

for orchestra

Year:  2017   ·  Duration:  1m 30s
Instrumentation:  2222; 4231; timp., 2 perc.; hp; strings | (Perc: clash cymbals, snare drum, triangle)

Year:  2017
Duration:  1m 30s
Instrumentation  2222; 4231; timp., 2 perc.;...

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1-3 of score

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Waitemata Waltz No. 1, Dance of the Harbour Ferries' is my effort to compose a Romantic-era waltz inspired by the works of the composer Johann Strauss II (1825-1899). I chose the Waitemata Harbour as my Auckland inspiration for this composition. An iconic part of the landscape of our city, I have crossed its sparkling waters many times on ferries and on the Harbour Bridge, as well as venturing out onto its glistening waters in a small sailing yacht. For me it is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Auckland City.

I chose to explore the concept of the Auckland harbour ferries for my composition. Day in, day out, these ferries regularly cross the harbour, transporting commuters to and from wharfs scattered across the shoreline. For many the ferries are much more convenient for travelling into the city than braving our congested road network. Through alternating loud and quiet phrases I have created a contrast between the quieter off-peak periods and the bustling time of rush-hour.

The busy, fast-paced first theme gives a sense of the hurry, with a merry-go-round motion reflecting the back-and-forth, back-and-forth journeys of the ferries. The glistening harp represents the shimmering waters of the harbour which give it its Māori name. The second theme represents the more relaxed off-peak and weekend periods, with short sudden dynamic bursts representing peaks of commuter activity for, say, a rugby match, a concert, or a Saturday night out. The third minor theme represents rain, with pitter-pattering harp and a renewed sense of hurry to get out of the weather and to the shelter of the covered sidewalks. The waltz ends with a return to the main rush-hour theme, as the commuter cycle comes around again and carries on...

Commissioned note

Composed for the APO Secondary School Composition Competition 2017