A setting of Katherine Mansfield's poem "Out in the Garden" for soprano and piano. The poem may well allude to the garden surrounding Chesney Wold, Karori, where Mansfield’s family lived from 1893-98, and reflect the nostalgia she felt for these happiest times of her childhood.
Her brother Leslie’s death during a grenade training drill in October 1915 profoundly affected her and inspired writings drawn from her childhood experience, such as the short stories “See-saw” (1917) and “Prelude”(1915-18) — the latter based on the family’s move to Karori.
I also lived in this area as a child and immediately responded to the intensity, simplicity, implied mystery and sense of exultation on a swing anchored by a towering tree, see-sawing over hedges and flower-beds in “the windy, swinging dark.”
Commissioned by Jenny Wollerman in 2021 for her 21 times 21 female composers project for 2022 NZ Festival of the Arts
Katherine Mansfield, "Out in the Garden"