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Lost in a long dream : settings of five poems for SATB choir

by Philip Bracanin (1986)

Work Overview

In commissioning a short choral work from me, Dr. Roy Wales asked especially for a setting of Australian poetry with unmistakeably Australian flavour. The resulting work Lost in a Long Dream is a cycle of five poems taken from the set of twenty-one entitled On the Birdsville Track, by Australian poet Douglas Stewart.

Throughout the cycle, two principal guidelines were observed with the setting to music of the poetry. Namely, the achievement of the most lucid presentation of the text possible while reflecting the general mood of each poem through harmonic and textural means. For example, in the fourth piece "The Seaweeds", the opening line "Not in our time but lost in a Long Dream" is set in whole-tone harmonisation in an attempt to capture the "timeless" quality of dreaming, while at the same time conveying the languid movement of seaweeds gently persuaded into motion by the seas omnipotent presence. In other instances, specific word painting is undertaken. "World's End", the first poem begins "Bright and golden and hard…" for which chordal statements have been appropriated to reflect each of the three descriptive words.
© 2001 Philip Bracanin

Work Details

Year: 1986

Instrumentation: SSAATTBB choir.

Duration: 6 min.

Contents note: World's end -- Place names -- Lizard -- The seaweeds -- Birdsville.

Commission note: Commissioned by Roy Wales for performance by The Brisbane Chorale.


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