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The original version (for SSA choir) of this short piece was written for Elise Bradley and the choirs at Westlake Girls High School in Auckland. She requested something that was up-tempo and fun to sing. I was already working on a cycle drawn from the book The Dragons are Singing Tonight by American Jack Prelutsky. Looking at other poems in the volume I decided to make a setting of I Made a Mechanical Dragon. The piece was ultimately incorporated into the larger cycle.
The work incorporates the sounds a mechanical dragon might make, and includes parts for metal and wooden 'noise-makers'. As the words of the poem suggest, the resulting contraption is not completely successful but at least the poet can boast that '... I made it myself with my hands!'
Written for the choirs at Westlake Girls High School, Auckland and conductor Elise Bradley
Text by Jack Prelutsky