Sheet Music: Score
Desert Sea : SATB choir and percussion / music by Luke Byrne ; text by Luke Byrne adapted from historical texts.
by Luke Byrne (2015)
Original program note from "To Be Sung on Water" concert for which Desert Sea was commissioned by Sydney Philharmonia Choirs:
I have always been fascinated by Lake Eyre, the "great lake" of Australia that is (mostly) completely dry. It occupies a unique place in our cultural geography and imagination, and before the discovery of Uluru it was the symbolic centre of our continent, the "dead heart". In the last few years Lake Eyre has been in flood and yielded almost hallucinatory photos, but I wanted to capture both of its characters. One day, hopefully soon, I'll actually get there.
A huge influence on this work was the award-winning photography of Peter Elfes, who I serendipitously met in the Royal Botanic Gardens at the time Desert Sea was premiered nearby at the Sydney Opera House. The language of explorers like Charles Sturt and writers like DH Lawrence have found their way into the text of this piece, but it was these unearthly, almost unbelievable photos that lent the music its character.
Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (15p. -- A4 (portrait))
Duration: 6 min.
Includes copy of full text, and programme note.
The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Every piece I have composed that relates to the sea or ocean has been influenced by Debussy's "La Mer", particularly the first movement.
The composer notes:
When composing a piece about water to fit in a program of Northern Hemisphere lakes, seas and rivers, I consciously chose a musical language of spare harmony and texture to reflect Australian's very different relationship to water than our ancestors from various wetter parts of the world, from Scotland to Vietnam.
This work is also available in the following products:
- Browse other works for SATB Choir with percussion
- Browse other works by Luke Byrne
Analysis & Media
- Video: Desert Sea
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