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This kind of life : a culinary correspondence

by Elliott Gyger (2018)

Work Overview

A setting of correspondence between celebrated American chef Julia Child and her friend Avis DeVoto, dating from the 1950s. Initially, each singer is supported by two instruments: mezzo-soprano (Julia) by harp and cello, soprano (Avis) by clarinet and piano. As the work progresses, however, the ensembles blend and vocal lines overlap, reflecting a developing friendship.

Work Details

Year: 2018

Instrumentation: Soprano, mezzo-soprano, clarinet, cello, harp, piano.

Duration: 28 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: I. Edge-proof -- II. In my dreams -- III. Mrs Child's Cooking School -- IV. Sea Air -- V. Intelligent American opinion -- VI. Wildly excited -- VII. A Great Gourmande -- VIII. National sport -- IX. ...or something -- X. What a mess -- XI. This kind of life -- XII. Absolutely delicious -- XIII. What to do -- XIV. The great encounter -- XV. Postlude.

Dedication note: for Reg Holloway

Commission note: Commissioned for Halcyon.. Commissioned by Ian Dickson

First performance: by Halcyon at Halcyon: This Kind of Life (Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music) on 21 Jul 2018

Text from letters (1952-1954) between Julia Child and Avis DeVoto.

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2019 Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize Highly Commended Elliott Gyger


Resonate article: 2019 Paul Lowin Prizes - finalists announced by Australian Music Centre

Performances of this work

20 Oct 2023: at The Dance of Life (Wharf 4/5, Walsh Bay). Featuring Halcyon.

21 Jul 2018: at Halcyon: This Kind of Life (Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music). Featuring Halcyon.

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