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Program note: Songs from Quito

  • Martin Wesley-Smith — © Martin Wesley-Smith
  • Source: The Song Company - Modern Art Series No. 2

Songs from Quito

Martin Wesley-Smith (b. 1945)

These songs are from Quito, a music theatre piece about a young East Timorese schizophrenic whose body was found, in 1990, hanging from his pyjama cord, in Royal Darwin Hospital. We see Quito's tragedy as a metaphor for the tragedy of his homeland.


Quito wrote the words of Flowers are blue soon after he was shot through the neck by police during a domestic disturbance and the song Oh Lord was also written by Quito himself. I am the cock that killed the king represents his last attempt to fight back against the invading forces - "the wind that comes from the sea" - before finally succumbing to the sweetness of death.


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