Badagarang : SATB choir
by Sandra Milliken (2002)
Performance by Cantinovum Chamber Choir, Rita Varonen from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 57
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Library shelf no. CD 2666 [Available for loan]
The text for Badagarang, which was commissioned by Rita Varonen and the Cantinovum Chamber Choir from Finland, is based on five Australian Aboriginal words for "kangaroo".
The opening passage represents a sunrise over the grasslands where the kangaroos are grazing. At first, all that can be seen are glimpses of their ears just above the grass line. With a "tch tch" (tongue click) sound, they then draw themselves up to full height. The piece has a predominance of small interlocking motifs over a pedal or drone bass simulating the traditional didgeridoo's throbbing fundamental with nasal resonating words in upper parts for tonal colour.
The middle section represents a night scene where the plains kangaroo (bayiwanarra) chants. In the final section (from bar 97) the glissandos, sung on 'ng' , represent a kangaroo jumping three times, with each jump a little higher than the last. And finally the kangaroo lands with a 'tch, tch' and a stomp.
Performance notes on pronunciation etc. are included with the score. This is an atmospheric performance piece, which could be enhanced with a visual component.
Instrumentation: SATB divisi - unaccompanied.
Duration: 6 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Rita Varonen and Cantinovum Chamber Choir, Finland
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