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Helen Garner is a very fine and evocative Australian short story writer and The Dark, the Light, from Postcards from Surfers (Penguin 1985), while shorter than most, is full of nuances that invite a musical setting. I set the short story as a long song to perform with Marianne Powlles (contralto) at Australian Women's Music Festival, 30 September, 1997, held at the University of Sydney. Marianne's low, rich contralto shaped the range of the setting.
Almost a music theatre work in miniature because of the different musical styles matching different text moods, the song can be sung by memory, but also with the score held as if reading the story to an audience.
– Diana Blom
Short story by Helen Garner
30 Sep 1997: Performed by Marianne Powlles at the University of Sydney, as part of the Australian Women's Music Festival