Sydney dreaming : for unaccompanied choir
by Stephen Adams (1988)
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Sydney Dreaming was written in response to the sound environment of Redfern and the tensions between the "two-thirds world" of life on The Block and the "first world" of commuters and the nearby university. The piece brought together my attempts at performance poetry (I had performed the text in a variety of other contexts before writing the choral piece), my work with ambient-industrial-folk-rock band One Over Zero, my choral experience, especially with the Contemporary Singers, and textural and timbral ideas from my work with electronic music and harmonic singing.
Instrumentation: SATB choir, tenor soloist. In three sections: SATB, SSATBB, & SSATBB + tenor solo
Duration: 9 min.
Contents note: The work forms a day cycle in the form of a triptych: 1. waking from half sleep into action - from choral unison, through 2 and 4-part textures moving from the melodic to shifting rhythmic pulses) -- 2. the bustle of city life, contrasted with reflections on its outsiders (6-part counterpoint of buzzing ostinati, interrupted by a slow chant melody) -- 3. day's end and the slow decay of the city's brilliance (tenor solo against shimmering background of vowels, decaying into whispers).
Dedication note: Dedicated to Jen Craig. Dedicated to Jen Craig, without whom..., and the Committee to Defend Black Rights, working for the two-thirds world in our backyard.
Written for: Native Rose Music Theatre Company
Commission note: Commissioned by Contemporary Singers.
First performance: by Contemporary Singers — Oct 98.
Opening movement and finale have been composed earlier as independent choral works (Sydney Dreaming, 1988, and Belong, 1991) and included in this version.
Originally performed with 2 dancers and a series of triptych slide projections (held by composer).
Performances of this work
15 Sep 2012: at Evenings at Elderhall (Elder Hall).
Oct 98: featuring Contemporary Singers.
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