Kalaya : Meeting place
by Stephen Adams (2012)
Score SampleView a sample of the score of this work
'Kalaya', means to 'ask or question' in the Wemba Wemba language
(cf http://museumvictoria.com.au/bunjilaka/visiting/visiting/), a
language of the indigenous peoples of NW Victoria and SW New
South Wales. It is also the name of a special space created as a
meeting and performance space within the indigenous area of the
Melbourne Museum. It was alone in that space that I first hummed
the hum that underpins this work. It was also there that I wrote
the first draft of the text, describing the space and what it
evoked in me.
Choral singing is also a kind of 'meeting place', creating a shared resonating space that is both a social communion - the creation of a virtual community of song - and a communion with the roots of our being - sounding our presence in the world - resonating our bodies and the space that we are in.
In my ideal choir, as in an ideal society, you can come up close and hear the distinctive grain of each individual's voice, the distinctive ideas and ways of being of each person. But the further you step back, the more you hear the complex resonance, the harmony of their sounding together.
Kalaya: meeting place is written as a celebration of singing - together - to oneself (humming) - sounding out the space and seeking a common ground from which to move forward.
Stephen Adams, Darlington 19/2/12
Instrumentation: SATB choir
Duration: 7 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — 4 parts only and broadly modal, but with independence and irreguaritiies of phrasing, timbres and pitch relationships.
Commission note: Commissioned by Sydney Conservatorium of Music for performance by Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Choir.. Commissioned as part of the '101 Commissions' project to celebrate the Conservatorium’s centenary
Performances of this work
21 May 12: 'Cocktail Hour', Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Featuring Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Choir.
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