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Program note: Katy Abbott's "Aspects of dreaming"

  • note by the composer

This work was commissoned by The Australian Voices with the assistance of the Australia Council Music Board.  The text comes from a poem written by ancient Chinese poet Li Po.

Although this poem was penned more than 1000 years ago, the mood it conjours can be related to by many today.  We have all experienced the isolating (or comforting) feeling of being the only one awake in the small hours of the night alone with our thoughts.  The person talking in the poem is also away from their home.  Aspects of Dreaming was begun during the first hot day of the 2006/07 summer – the hottest day in October for 50 years in Victoria.  This event and subsequent bush-fires helped fuel the ‘water/drought’ debate and I imagined the person in the poem, as an Australian farmer, thinking of his home and thinking/hoping for rain.

The title Aspects of Dreaming, is about hope.  It refers to the dream-like state induced by the farmers thoughts and hopes of rain, hearing rain on the roof, unknowing if he is asleep, awake, the rain real or imagined. 


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