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Program note: Michael Smetanin Due Pezzi Per Niente

  • The Song Company
  • Source: The Song Cmpany Cage Uncaged 15 Septermber 2007

Due Pezzi Per Niente - Michael Smetanin (b.1958)
Sydney 2005/06, commissioned by Ars Musica Australis, premiered Sydney October
'l have nothing to say
and I am saying it
and that is poetry
as I needed it" (John Cage)

Michael Smetanin made his initial impact as the unmistakable 'enfant terrible' of the
Australian music scene with the scandal-provoking Black Snow and a range of hard-hitting
chamber works. ln 1994, His first opera, The Burrow, received its premiere
season in Perth and his second opera, Gauguin was premiered in Melbourne in 2000.
These days his works attract awards and international attention. Ihe Shape of Things to
Pass won the Paul Lowin Prize and the 2005 Piano Concerto won the Sounds Australian
award for best Composition. Due Pezzi is a double homage to Franco Donatoni and
John Cage, prompted by a chance encounter in a bar in Venice in 1982 when the
composer was studying in ltaly. Cage walks in and, in his distinct Manhattan accent,
approaches Smetanin: "Excuse me young man, is that Donatoni over there?"