The number one train : for unison treble choir and piano
by Luke Byrne (2012)
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Library shelf no. 782.7542/BYR 1 [Available for loan]
I have a very clear memory of going to the Powerhouse Museum not long after it opened in 1988, and the image that stood out in my mind is of the two artefacts that grab your attention as soon as you walk in: the big green train (which as a seven-year-old boy meant Henry from "Thomas the Tank Engine") and the box kites hovering high above it. It probably comes as no surprise that when given the opportunity some twenty-four years later to write pieces of music for other children to sing, my imagination was once again captured by these same exhibits, in this instance namely Locomotive no. 1.
The Number One Train documents (in a deeply serious fashion) the first official train journey in Sydney, which if historical records are accurate shows us that some things about public transport really haven't changed since 1855. For more information on its history please visit the Powerhouse Museum in person or online at http://maas.museum/event/locomotive-no-1/
This work also forms part of a suite of four choral works inspired by exhibits in the Powerhouse Museum, all composed as part of my Composer Residency with Sydney Children's Choir in 2012. It is titled Powerhouse Collection and in addition to The Number One Train (which is the second movement of the suite) includes Kites, Travelling Companion and Visions of the Future.
Instrumentation: Unison treble choir, piano.
Duration: 4 min.
Difficulty: Medium — Moderately virtuosic piano accompaniment
Commission note: Commissioned by Sydney Children's Choir.. Commissioned as part of the 2012 Sydney Children's Choir Composer-in-Residence program, in association with the Powerhouse Museum. Composed for the Paul Stanhope, Michael Atherton and Joseph Twist Choirs.
Words by Luke Byrne.
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