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Juliet Palmer: Solid Gold -...Internal audio
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The lyrics for Solid Gold are the distillation of thirty years of number one hit song titles. Love is, not surprisingly, a big theme. From song titles absurd and poignant, from names of people I never knew or have since forgotten, I have winnowed down hundreds of song titles into a lean new lyric. I cast aside “Me and you and dog named Boo”, put “Puppy Love” behind me and discarded “Mouldy Old Dough”. Sifting through the remaining hoard, I hoped to unearth the heart of the love song. Collaging selected titles into new and original lyrics, my quest echoes Foreigner's 1984 hit “I want to know what love is”. In this maelstrom of romantic yearning, what does love mean? And who exactly is the singer? Is (s)he “Venus, Jezebel, Lady Madonna — Lola, Nikita, Sylvia's Mother”? Or is gender itself in question? “Fernando? Pinnochio? Mozart?” While the lyrics of Solid Gold are borrowed, the music is my own. This is not James Last's orchestra or Purple Haze arranged for symphony. In composing for chamber orchestra, I've tried to conjure the distinct sound world of pop production — from reverb, chorus, flange and distortion, to looping, static and cassette warp. I'm not looking for the tunes, but more for the dirt on the needle.
Suitable for a professional orchestra and soprano
Solid Gold was commissioned by Orchestra Wellington and funded by Creative New Zealand.
Text by Juliet Palmer
08 Sep 2013: Performed by Orchestra Wellington, Madeleine Pierard (soprano), and conducted by Marc Taddei at The Opera House, in Wellington