Time flows, not you : SATB choir
by Philip Bracanin (1990)
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In choosing to set poetry by the Australian Kenneth Slessor, I was attracted not only by the sentiments expressed but also by the propensity of the lines to scan musically. Although there is nothing overtly Australian about the descriptions and metaphors employed by Slessor, nevertheless, there is a strong, indeed almost overpowering, Australian sensibility in the manner in which the verses in the three poems I have set (viz., "Waters", "Stars", and "Out of Time") relate notions of optimism on the one hand, and unfulfilled desires and goals, on the other; a sensibility with which I Immediately identified on first reading Slessors' poems. In setting the poems, I have endeavoured to maximise the effect of coupling the timbral qualities of the voices with appropriate harmonic statements (whether for example to convey the onset of darkness, as in "Waters" or, in "Out of Time" to represent the cruel harshness of "Time" likened to a bony knife which "runs me through"), to musically underpin and heighten the impact of the ideas expressed.
© 2001 Philip Bracanin
Instrumentation: SATB choir.
Duration: 6 min.
Contents note: Waters -- Stars -- Out of time.
Commission note: Commissioned by 1991 the Bournemouth Internatiional Festival for the Holst Singers London
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