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Fast ride in a suave machine : for large orchestra

by Katy Abbott (2006, this version: 2020)

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Fast ride in a suave machine

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Work Overview

Fast Ride in a Suave Machine is a play on a well-known tune. Sometimes, when we re-visit rhymes that we knew as children, it is a curious revelation to understand the true and gruesome nature of the text. Examples of this are Ring-a-Ring-a-Rosie which had its origins in the era of the Black Plague or Rock-a-bye-Baby, where the baby falls 'cradle and all'.

Whilst singing 'Three Blind Mice' to my children one day, the grisly nature of the text suddenly became apparent. Hence, the music is fast paced and 'fun' in nature yet it also alludes to the dark side of the text... I imagine the farmers wife, chasing mice around her kitchen with a large butchers knife!

Work Details

Year: 2006, this version: 2020

Instrumentation: 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets in B flat, 2 trombones , bass trombone, tuba (optional), timpani, percussion (2 players), strings (preferably 10/8/6/4/2).

Duration: 7 min.

Dedication note: Dedicated to the orchestras and conductgors who have performed the work. "Also to my Mum, Val, with love"

Commission note: Commissioned by Orchestras Australia with funds provided by Australia Council. Music Board.. This work was commissioned by Orchestras Australia as part of a composer attachment in 2005/06. It was supported with the assistance of the Australia Council Music Board in a new initiative titled ‘Composer_Connecting_Community’.

This version arranged by Steven Stanke in 2020.

Performances of this work

26 Jun 22: Central Coast Grammar School Performing Arts Centre, NSW. Featuring Symphony Central Coast.

19 Jun 22: Northcote Town Hall, VIC. Featuring Preston Symphony Orchestra.

7 Apr 22: Melbourne Recital Hall, VIC. Featuring University of Melbourne Wind Symphony.

30 Jul 2015: at Women of the Met (St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond). Featuring Melbourne Metropolitan Sinfonietta.

29 Mar 2015: at Tasmanian Youth Orchestra (Princess Theatre, Launceston). Featuring Greg Stephens, Tasmanian Youth Orchestra.

28 Mar 2015: at Tasmanian Youth Orchestra (Burnie Town Hall Theatre). Featuring Greg Stephens, Tasmanian Youth Orchestra.

19 Aug 06: Performed by Pembroke Symphony Orchestra, at Pembroke School, South Australia. Featuring Kevin Cameron.

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