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In God's Esperanto : for seven vocalists

by Damien Ricketson (2008)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Song Company, Roland Peelman from the CD Selected works by AMC represented artists, vol. 34.

Selected works by AMC represented artists, vol. 34.


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Selected works by AMC represented artists, vol. 34.

Library shelf no. CD 2472 [Available for loan]

In God's Esperanto


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Work Overview

In the 1800s, the Frenchman Jean Franc╠žois Sudre proposed a universal language, Solresol, based entirely on the seven syllables of the diatonic scale: do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-si (ti). In doing so, he created an artificial language that existed not only in written and spoken form, but in pure melodic form communicable without the human voice. Using different combinations of up to four syllables (motifs of up to four notes) he generated a dictionary of over 2600 words organised via a logical grammar. In creating Solresol, Sudre hoped for a global language, a musical precursor to Esperanto, where the peoples of the world would communicate through the language of melody.

In God's Esperanto, is an ironic look at the quest for the ultimate universal language: an attribute frequently ascribed to the language of music. A new poem, 'Spranto Lost', written especially by Christopher Wallace-Crabbe is used as a narrative thread against a chorus of spoken and melodic statements in Solresol. The texts are quotes from the Bible, Wallace-Crabbe, Umberto Eco, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Igor Stravinsky and the World Congress of Esperanto that refer to the quest for universal language: naturally the information contained in the statements is completely arcane.

Work Details

Year: 2008

Instrumentation: 7 vocalists.May be performed as an installation with mobile audience.

Duration: 20 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

First performance: by Song Company, Roland Peelman — 19 Sep 08. National Library of Australia, Canberra

Duration is variable - up to 20 min.

Performances of this work

9 Apr 2009: at Reich & Ricketson (Elisabeth Murdoch Hall). Featuring Ensemble Offspring, Halcyon, Roland Peelman.

19 Sep 08: National Library of Australia, Canberra. Featuring Song Company, Roland Peelman.

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