Homage to Peter : for piano
by Michael Hannan (2015)
Peter Sculthorpe played a large part in my personal and
professional development, particularly from my late teens to my
early 30s. I began studying and performing his music while still
at high school and I wrote both my BA (Honours) and PhD theses on
his music. From 1969 to 1971 I was Peter's composition assistant
and after that collaborated with him on numerous projects.
Upon Peter's death in 2014, I felt compelled to compose something in memory of him. I first had the idea of writing a sting quartet because I believe this musical genre was the most dear to him, but I was drawn instead to responding to the melodically distinctive tonal music style he typically used for film scoring projects.
Homage to Peter is in five short movements. The first has echoes of the theme music for the film, 'Burke and Wills'; the second draws on the ambience of 'Koto Music I'; the third acknowledges Peter's love of four-bar harmonic ostinati; the fourth, also ostinato-based, references his obsession with bird song; and the last derives from the harmonic and melodic ideas of 'Small Town'.
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