Singing the lost places (soprano with chamber orchestra) youth orchestra
by Jennifer Fowler (1996)
Performance by Elisa Wilson, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Tuomas Ollila from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 95.
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Whenever I visit my home country of Western Australia, more of it has disappeared. Features of the landscape disappear under the imposed contours of agriculture, tarmac, oil refineries, suburbs and the like. Of course, this disappearance began before my lifetime - one could say that the process of decay begins after the first few moments of Creation. Nevertheless, the loss of what one knew for oneself carries a powerful emotional charge.
These thoughts underlie my piece. I was thinking in terms of singing the landscape: as when the Ancestors sang the contours into being during its first creation; or when we sing it in our memory, re-creating the landscapes of our childhood; or when the earth itself continues singing its own shapes and contours under the surfaces we have imposed.
Instrumentation: Soprano voice, large ensemble or chamber orchestra (flute (doubling piccolo), oboe, clarinet in B flat, bassoon, horn in F, trumpet in B flat, trombone, percussion (1 player), keyboard (1 player: organ, harpsichord, piano), strings (can be single strings or multiple)).
Duration: 22 min.
Difficulty: Professional (possibly very good amateur, eg. youth orchestra).
Commission note: Commissioned by Festival of Perth for performance by West Australian Symphony Orchestra 20th Century Ensemble.
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