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Australians : Voice portraits

by Robert Davidson (2009)

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The Australian Music Centre's catalogue does not include any recordings or sheet music of this work. This entry is for information purposes only.

It is listed in our catalogue because an event featuring a performance of this work was included in our calendar of Australian music. Details of this performance are listed below.

Work Overview

Australians is a collection of portraits with subjects drawn from eighty years of archival recordings in the National Film and Sound Archive and National Library. These portraits will focus not on the face, but rather on the voice of each individual.

Work Details

Year: 2009

Instrumentation: Soprano/alto saxophone, violin, viola, double bass/1920s-style vocals (optional), piano, audio playback (CD, laptop, or substitute) (performers listen to click track through earphones)

Duration: 40 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Rhythmically difficult speech melodies; requirement to play with click track in earphones

Contents note: This is an ongoing collection which will expand; currently the list includes: Robert HelpmannJudith WrightPercy GraingerFiona StanleyFred HollowsJessie StreetArthur BoydDavid MaloufGough Whitlam ("Well may we say")Kevin Rudd ("Big Changes")Ken Ham ("Generation after Generation")Charles Kingsford-Smith

Dedication note: Dedicated to National Film and Sound Archive. Dedicated to the National Film and Sound Archive

Commission note: Commissioned by Topology with funds provided by Australia Council.. Assisted through the National Film and Sound Archive's Research Fellowships program.

First performance: by John Babbage, Christa Powell, Bernard Hoey, Robert Davidson, Kathy Sander at Australians (Brisbane Powerhouse) on 21 Jun 2009

Inspired by Speech-melody, Sherre Delys, Jack O'Hagan, Terry Riley, Scott Johnson, Harry Partch, Leoš Janáček, Peter Ablinger, Luciano Berio, Steve Reich, Frank Zappa, Percy Grainger, Ross Edwards, Eileen Joyce, Eugène Goossens, Hermeto Pascoal, René Lussier, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Vincent Plush.

Performances of this work

21 Aug 2009: at Australians (National Film & Sound Archive).

21 Jun 2009: at Australians (Brisbane Powerhouse). Featuring John Babbage, Christa Powell, Bernard Hoey, Robert Davidson, Kathy Sander.

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