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Ceremonial Introduction and Dialogue began through a suggestion from my son, Michael, to write a piece for a nonet – clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, percussion (including timpani), violin, viola, cello and double bass – for his colleague musician friends. Periodically, musicians from the Brisbane Orchestra performed a chamber music concert for members and friends – including members' compositions – calling it "Off the Factory Floor." The nonet received a couple of rehearsals and was performed, about 1998.
Using, for a start, the theme from Michael's etude for unaccompanied horn, I "dreamed-up" the idea of setting the ritual opening of a masonic meeting. The order, to which my wife and I belong, is an international one for men and women begun in Paris in 1893. From 1902 it spread it all over the world. The Co-Masonic Lodge in Auckland was founded by C.W. Leadbeater in 1916 and in Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch later.
The theme from my son's etude comprised seven pitches each of which later received seven durations. From these I was able to set the ceremonial beginning of a Masonic meeting, followed by the text of the ensuing dialogue. Later, I re-scored the original none for orchestra and revised it in 2012. The music "takes over" in the climax section for full orchestra, leaving behind – for a short while – the obvious dialogue.
– Hugh Dixon 13/08/12