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Virago (quintets: flute, clarinet, piano, violin, cello)

by Keyna Wilkins

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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

I chose the title Virago because it means female warrior in Latin and seemed to exemplify what I was trying to say in one word. I've written a meditation on four contemporary female leaders who have managed to break through the usual societal constraints on women - four movements about four unique female leaders: Greta Thunberg, Grace Tame, Jacinda Ardern, and Angela Merkel. Each movement reflects characteristics of their leadership, attributes and actions that are inspirational. Each movement has a very different character. The Greta Thunberg movement is intense, driven, fast and quirky with spoken word chanting: "Ch... Ch... Change Is Coming". The Grace Tame movement is open and direct about things that make us uncomfortable, and really lets us sit with traumatic events and their aftermath. The Jacinda Ardern movement is hopeful, graceful, lyrical and harmonic. The Angela Merkel movement is strident, direct and artful. Before the music starts in each movement, I found short sound bites of their most famous and profound speeches.

1. GRETA THUNBERG: How Dare You? "We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not." ( UN Climate Action Summit Speech 2019).
2. GRACE TAME: Hear Me Now. "Share your truth. It is your power. One voice. your voice, and our collective voices, can make a difference. " (Australian of the Year National Press Conference Speech 2021).
3. JACINDA ARDERN: We Need A New Generation of Leaders "It takes courage and strength to be empathetic and I'm very proudly an empathetically-driven leader." (BBC Interview 2019).
4. ANGELA MERKEL: Everything Is Possible "Anything that seems to be set in stone or unalterable can, indeed, change. In matters both large and small, it holds true that every change begins in the mind." (Harvard University Commencement Speech 2019).

Work Details

Instrumentation: Flute, clarinet, piano, violin, cello.

Contents note: I. Greta Thunberg -- II. Grace Tame -- III.  Jacinda Ardern  -- IV.  Angela Merkel.

Commission note: Commissioned by Syzygy Ensemble

Performances of this work

7 Jul 2022: at Syzygy Ensemble: Revive (75 Reid Street). Featuring Syzygy Ensemble.

24 Mar 2022: at Syzygy Ensemble – Revive (Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon). Featuring Syzygy Ensemble.

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