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The Auckland Chamber Orchestra requested a piece from me that adopted the theme of the sea. My title was partly motivated by the famous Handel precedent, but focuses on creatures that live in the sea. The first movement is titled 'Seahorses' and captures the gently undulating movements of these small creatures. More dramatic gestures suggest the ebb and flow of the sea. The second movement is titled 'Sting rays' and the music suggests the slowly flapping motion of the rays. In the third movement, 'Dolphins', the orchestra presents an energetic theme, and the movement is full of strong, upward sweeping gestures. A piccolo solo in the middle section derives from the opening, and portrays a baby dolphin. The work ends with a blow from the dolphin's spout. This 12 minute-commissioned work was first performed in 1994, and recorded for Concert FM under the baton of John Matheson.
Commissioned by Tamas Vesmas and the Auckland Sinfionetta with funding by the NZ Composer's Foundation and the QE11 Arts Council
29 Aug 1994: Performed by Auckland Sinfonietta conducted by John Matheson
21 Jun 2010: ACO: Anthony Ritchie Portrait
18 Feb 2015: Recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Hamish McKeich, as part of the 2015 NZSO/RNZ Concert/SOUNZ Recordings, at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington.