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Gardener of Time : for symphony orchestra

by Barry Conyngham (2010)

Gardener of Time


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Gardener of Time : for symphony orchestra / Barry Conyngham.

Library shelf no. 784.2/CON 9 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

This work is written in memory of esteemed conductor Hiroyuki Iwaki.
Its shape and mood are inspired by Gardener of Time, a short essay by our mutual friend Toru Takemitsu, which owes its title to an image in a Haiku by Australian schoolgirl Susan Morrison (in Miracles: Poems by Children of the English Speaking World, edited by Richard Lewis, 1966).
The poem reads:
Hours are the leaves of life.
And I am their gardener.
Each hour falls down slow.
The essay begins with Takemitsu gazing out over the foothills of Nagano Prefecture. "The wind begins. The mists lift..." His mind wanders: he reflects on life, on death, on nature, on composition. "I do not stop composing, because I cannot give up being one of these gardeners cultivating infinite
The essay ends, "Moved by the view of those mountains, lost in thought, I found that time passed quickly and the mountains were again covered by clouds, lost from sight."
An exciting, energetic, surprising, thoughtful, sensitive, and full-of-life person, Maestro Iwaki was also a "gardener of time" - planning and shaping each performance, allowing each piece to flower, and leaving behind colourful experiences that stay in the mind.

Work Details

Year: 2010

Instrumentation: Piccolo/alto flute, flute, oboe, cor anglais, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, contra-bassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (3 players), harp, keyboard (celeste, piano), strings.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: In Memory of Hiroyuki Iwaki

First performance: by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tadaaki Otaka at MSO: Conyngham, Elgar, Tchaikovsky (Melbourne Town Hall) on 18 Nov 2011

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2012 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Orchestral Finalist Barry Conyngham


Resonate article: 2012 Art Music Awards - comments by judging panels by Australian Music Centre

Resonate article: Barry Conyngham on teaching, learning and the stuff of music by Anni Heino

Performances of this work

19 Nov 2011: at MSO: Conyngham, Elgar, Tchaikovsky (Melbourne Town Hall). Featuring Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tadaaki Otaka.

18 Nov 2011: at MSO: Conyngham, Elgar, Tchaikovsky (Melbourne Town Hall). Featuring Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tadaaki Otaka.

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