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Au began as a series of musical reflections on the Auroroa with pitch material based on the name of bass clarinettist Andrew Uren whose initials provide the title. This title, 'Au' is also the abbreviation for 'aurum', the Latin word for gold. As I was composing I realised that I was dealing with golden qualities not only of the sounds in the piece but also of the musicians in the ensemble 175 East who would be giving its first performance. This was particularly the case with the soloist Andrew Uren whose adventurous bass clarinet playing has revolutionised the way in which composers in New Zealand think about the instrument.
The work was commissioned by Andrew Uren with funding provided by Creative New Zealand and was first performed on 15 September 2002 at The Space, Wellington, by Andrew Uren and '175 East' conducted by Hamish McKeich.
Commissioned by Andrew Uren with funding provided by Creative New Zealand
15 Sep 2002: Performed by 175 East at The Space, Wellington, with Andrew Uren (bass clarinet) conducted by Hamish McKeich
26 Jun 2014: Performed by William Hayter (bass clarinet), with ensemble conducted by Roberto Beltrán-Zavala, at the Eduard Flipse Zaal in De Doelen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Performed by 175 East with Andrew Uren (bass clarinet), conducted by Hamish McKeich, in the Great Hall, Arts Centre, Christchurch
Performed by 175 East with Andrew Uren (bass clarinet) conducted by Hamish McKeich, at Hopetoun Alpha, Auckland
Performed by Andrew Uren (bass clarinet), 175 East, and conducted by James Gardner