Films, Audio & Samples
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In 1997 I visited Cairo to work with Arabic musicians and a dawn trip to the pyramids was on the schedule. Then there was a visit to a local tourist shop and I came away with my own relic - a plaster copy of a golden Isis with wings outstretched. The seller did warn me that it was not the real artifact. It has sat in my studio and in idle moments I have pondered the fact that this goddess was worshipped as far back as 2500 b.c. and later her worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world until the 6th century. Temples to Isis were built in Iraq, Greece, Rome, even as far north as England where the remains of a temple were discovered at Hadrian's Wall.
Relic opens with a call from the harp and drum and through the melodic and darker passages I seek to convey a sense of ritual - each element in its place, taking time to breathe, delivering then moving on. The fast second section exploded into this piece quite spontaneously as the potential of the harp and drum combination demanded to be realised. Unison and ornate figures dominate the melodic material and an urgent dance in the Locrian mode is the result.
Relic was commissioned by STROMA for performance in 2010 with funding from Creative New Zealand.
06 May 2012: ACO - Concerto