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Seen/Unseen : A meditation on the Australian desert

by Meredith Connie (2019)

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Work Overview

Seen/Unseen is a meditation on the desert, but one where I have come to doubt what I think I see. If I see dryness, barrenness, harshness and a land that will not nourish me, is it because I do not have the eyes to really see it? Bruce Pascoe, in Dark Emu, writes "'desert' is a term Europeans use to describe areas where they can't grow wheat and sheep."

What if, instead of dryness, I see fragility? A landscape balanced under the care of it's ancient custodians and easily mismanaged. The piano floats over an undulating guitar part, delicate and easily taken off course. What if, instead of unending landscape of barren land, I see a broad expanse under an enormous sky, where everything is always shifting and changing and is never static? The guitar opens with a constantly shifting but spiky pulse, exchanging focus with the piano to evoke spines, spikes, and rocks. Perhaps if within myself I am able to change, then what is unseen may be seen, in a true back and forth, a dialogue finally undertaken by the piano and guitar.

Work Details

Year: 2019

Instrumentation: Piano, guitar.

Duration: 6 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: I. Fragility (1 min.) -- II. Expanse (2 min.) -- III. Unseen (2 min., 20 sec.).

Dedication note: Dedicated to Matthew Withers

Winner of the 2nd Prize, 2020 Matt Withers Australian Composition Competition

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