Clarion, like my 2019 work Tipping Point, commissioned by the Auckland Philharmonia, addresses issues of climate change. Clarion is a musical call across oceans for us to wake up to climate change and rising sea levels. In developing this piece, with its use of the conch shell, or putātara, in reference to taonga puoro and the powerful impact of this sound, I contemplated the importance of listening to, and learning from, indigenous people and their knowledge when thinking about overcoming the climate crisis.
It’s western processes of capitalism, colonisation and industrialisation that have caused this catastrophe, while destroying indigenous cultures.
In Clarion, Bede is chief with the trumpet-thing (Golding, 'Lord of the Flies'), utilising a range of calls and cries, keening, moaning, alerting, and warning us of our need to act in the current climate emergency. Research shows that an understanding of warming can be seen in the carbon being layered in the growth of the conch shell/putātara. This informs the musical buildup of instrumental layers within the work, leading gradually to its cataclysmic climax.
Commissioned by Bede Williams, funded by the 2019 APRA Art Music Fund
to Bede Williams
- The Call
- Eia, cadenza
- Finale: Let him be chief with the trumpet thing
16 Mar 2020: Performed by Bede Williams and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra (Peter Scholes, cond.) as part of the Auckland Arts Festival's 'Clarion: music by Eve de Castro-Robinson' concert at Spiegeltent, Auckland