Bushranger Psychodrama (dramatic music)
by Kate Moore (2017)
Bushranger Psychodrama is a psychological melodrama performed by Iarla O'lionard about a highwayman in the bush. Drawing inspiration from the mythology and narrative of Australian colonial history where bushrangers became heroes of the people under the oppressive governance of the Redcoats, English officials who saw to the policing of the penal colony. Figures including Irish felon Ned Kelly became a symbol of the rebellion of the repressed. The work is 20 minutes in duration, a one movement monologue that enters into the darkest reaches of the human psyche pitted against the most isolated and harshest foreign landscape imaginable to an Irishman. Set loose in the most remote wilderness, wild, raw and untamed, a bushranger battles the dark hollows of his mind. He is rebelling against the authorities and fighting for the dispossessed but his real battle is his own fear of an insatiable emptiness leading to nowhere not even the horizon. He is terrified of being caught but who will find him out here where there is nothing but ghosts. Bushranger Psychodrama is strange and disconcerting story about a man pursued by his own shadow. Iarla O'lionard sings in a dialect stemming from Irish language, reminiscent of that which was spoken amongst the earliest European settlers of the south east of Australia.
Instrumentation: Folk voice (male), electronics, amplified string quartet, percussion,
Duration: 18 min.
Commission note: Co-commissioned by November Music, Symphony Space, Dublin Concert Hall
Performances of this work
2017: featuring November Music.
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