Ballad of a Highlands man : a journey in five parts
by Michael Sollis (2006)
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Library shelf no. CD 2733 [Available for loan]
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Ballad of a Highlands Man was written shortly after the composer returned from Papua New Guinea in 2006, and revised in 2008 for the Griffyn Ensemble. Sollis has a long-standing interest in the music and cultures of PNG, and in 2006 was involved in the Chanted Tales Australian Research Project, examining a range of genres of sung narratives. This trip served to focus his interest on the relationship between speech and song, an area he examined in several academic publications.
The Ballad is not specifically influenced by the music of PNG, but is more generally influenced by sounds and cultural symbols, and broad ideas of sound and speech. The use of sounds that are specific to PNG locates the piece in the Pacific - primarily indigenous flutes, traditionally played in pairs across a large space, and the voice part is in a blend of English and Tok Pisin (PNG pidgin) throughout.
Instrumentation: Flute/piccolo (doubling PNG flute), clarinet (doubling PNG flute), harp, violin, viola, cello, tenor voice, percussion (also conducting where required).
Duration: 20 min.
The composer cites the following influences on this work:
Papua New Guinea, Tok Pisin music and language
The PNG flutes are found in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.
Ballad of a highlands man
- Influenced by: Pacific Cultures
Performances of this work
10 Oct 08: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Featuring Griffyn Ensemble.
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