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The listening land : for a cappella SATB choir

by Matthew Orlovich (1996)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

From the CD listening land

listening land


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The listening land : Australian choral music / Australian Voices.

Library shelf no. CD 366 [Available for loan]

listening land


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The listening land : for a cappella SATB choir / Matthew Orlovich.

Library shelf no. 782.5554/ORL 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

The listening land draws together two different texts published over one hundred years apart: excerpts from Ernest Giles's 'Australia Twice Traversed: The Romance of Exploration, Being A Narrative Compiled From The Journals Of Five Exploring Expeditions Into And Through Central South Australia, and Western Australia, From 1872 To 1876'; and a poem by Victor Carell, entitled 'The Listening Land'.

The narrative of the third expedition led by the Australian explorer Ernest Giles into the remote interior of South Australia in 1875, describes his thoughts and feelings on gazing at the stars. After travelling 220 miles without seeing water, Giles had grave forebodings concerning what lay ahead. He gazed that night at the beauty of the 'gorgeous constellations' which were his only source of repose and comfort.

Victor Carell's poem, 'The listening land', was inspired, according to the poet, by the timeless silence of Central Australia, experienced on an eight-month research trip in 1953, during which he lived with Aboriginal tribes. The poem, comprising four stanzas, evokes a sense of timelessness, through the portrayal of the landscape as still, quiet, listening and waiting.

Work Details

Year: 1996

Instrumentation: SATB choir.

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by ArtsNOW Australia for performance by The Australian Voices.

First performance: by The Australian Voices, Graeme Morton — 20 Apr 96. St James Church, King Street, Sydney


Performances of this work

24 Oct 2015: at Simon Says (City of Casey Council Chambers). Featuring Da Capo Singers, Simon Loveless.

5 Jun 2010: at The Listening Land (Berwick Masonic Hall). Featuring Da Capo Singers, Simon Loveless.

29 Jun 97: Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne, Vic.. Featuring Melbourne Chorale, Graham Abbott.

20 Apr 96: St James Church, King Street, Sydney. Featuring The Australian Voices, Graeme Morton.

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