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This short poem is by Dunedin-based poet Elena Poletti. I had known Elena in my days at university and we were flatmates for a year. I’d lost touch with her for a long time, until I became aware of her poetry though her collaboration with Dunedin composer Anthony Ritchie. She then kindly sent me some of her poetry.
The starting point for this work was the ‘ocean drum’ - an instrument like a large tambourine filled with metal beads. When moved around, a convincing imitation of the rise and fall of ocean waves is created. Elena’s poem seemed ideally suited to this instrument, and this setting is the result. It is a lullaby text. Much of the accompaniment is quite repetitive and rhythmic, with the accompaniment also aiming to depict the rise and fall of the ocean swell.
“The Dark and Shining Tide” was written for Cantare (Westlake Girls High School, Auckland) and conductor Fiona Wilson. For this year’s work, the request was for a piece that had an ensemble accompaniment. So, the work has an accompaniment for flute, percussion and string quartet, which could also be played using string orchestra.
Composed for Cantare at Westlake Girls High School and conductor Fiona Wilson
Suitable for school and community choirs
Text by Elena Poletti
27 Apr 2017: APO | Gallery of Sound