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This work is dedicated to Barry Margan, who commissioned it. We collaborated extensively on its inspirations, sonic, literary and metaphysical and he provided the poetic titles of the first and third movements. The title (and that of the second movement) and the garden was full of voices is from a line of Bill Manhire’s: I stayed a minute/and the garden was full of voices.
The garden and its metaphorical voices, songs, chants and echoes come to life in this ritualistic and meditative work, from the tui calls of the first movement, transcribed directly from my garden, to the more abstracted whistles and nocturnal, dreamlike vocalisations of the second and third. A preoccupation with repeated notes throughout sprang from those of the tui which pervaded Auckland this summer.
Commissioned by Barry Margan as part of the SOUNZtender Project
Dedicated to Barry Margan
i. the air sings of life
ii. moon darkened by song
iii. the ancient chants are echoes of death
Text by Barry Margan (no. i and iii) and Bill Manhire (no. ii)