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The genesis of this piece was the second movement, originally written in 2019 as a short piece in tribute to New Zealand composer John Rimmer on his 80th birthday. My intention was to ultimately extend that work and add to my “Canticle” series of pieces - all of which are for voice, one melodic instrument and piano.
The texts are drawn from the poetry of Spanish poet Federico García Lorca (1898-1936). Lorca, in his brief life, became a celebrated poet and playwright, introducing into his works elements then fashionable in Europe: symbolism, futurism and surrealism. He is believed to have been killed by Nationalist forces at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Something of the surreal quality of Lorca’s imagery comes through in these fragments and poems.. While the original idea was simply to set brief fragments from Lorca’s poetry, the third and fifth movements set complete poems. The image of the moon features prominently, and throughout there is more than a hint of the surreal.
Canticle 6: Fragments from Lorca was the winner of the 2020 Philip Neill Memorial Prize in Music (administered by the University of Otago, Dunedin).
II. Quando sale la luna I
– Interlude –
IV. La Luna Gira en el Cielo
V. Quando sale la luna II
Texts by Federico García Lorca