by Ann Carr-Boyd (2011)
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Tyalgum Dawn was commissioned for the 20th anniversary
festival of the Tyalgum Festival of Classical Music.
This Festival is held annually in the beautiful town of Tyalgum, situated in the heart of the Northern Rivers country of New South Wales, near to the Tweed River and dominated by Mount Warning, which is also known by its aboriginal name, Wollumbin.
The work is a lyrical setting for soprano and string orchestra of a poem written by Kacey Patrick-Bare, also the soprano in the premier performance.
In 2011 Kacey wrote a poem depicting the symbolism and beauty of Mount Warning, a remnant of a past volcanic eruption. The mountain dominates the entire area and is the first land on the entire east coast of Australia to be touched by the rising sun. Its importance to the district and also the influence of the huge caldera which surrounds the area is strongly depicted by Kacey in her poem.
In creating music to accompany the poem I have been conscious of a fusion of many things, including the extraordinary quality of Kacey's unique voice, which can evoke many moods and also imitate the sounds of Australian birds in a totally lifelike manner. There is space in the score for her to do this in performance. She is accompanied by a classical string orchestra - although partnership is a better word for it. As a string orchestra is so versatile, it was not difficult for me to merge its sounds with those of Kacey's voice.
The twelve verses of the poem separate into two six verse sections. The opening scene describes Mount Warning and surrounds in the coming of dawn light - the music is hushed until the sun first greets the mountain. The second scene describes more fully the significance of the mountain to the area - there is freedom in the score here for singer and orchestra to improvise.
As composer, the writing of this work has offered many new and engrossing experiences, particularly meeting the people who produce this richly varied festival, and the singer and members of the string orchestra, the Camerata of St John's. My visits to the area have allowed me to get to know some of the moods of Mount Warning and its surrounds, and I have visited the spectacularly beautiful areas surrounding Murwillumbah and Tyalgum.
Duration: 8-12 min.
- Inspired by: New South Wales
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