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Wetlands suite : for 2 classical guitars and string quartet

by Ian Seaborn (2005)

Work Overview

Peter Sculthorpe, prior to 9/11 and the Bali bombings, suggested that Australia was one of the few places in the world where one could compose happy music. This is my attempt to create brighter music. I have drawn on old memories in this venture.

When my wife Chris and I lived in Darwin in 1977, we drove towards Kakadu and visited a place called Fogg Dam. I have never seen such an abundance of birdlife before or since. The first movement tries to express my memory of bright sunlight on glistening water with thousands of birds in the air, on the ground and in the water.

The rhythmical theme at the start of the second movement describes wading birds: ibis, egrets, jabiru and brolgas. Later a water snake and a crocodile appear. The last four bars are played col legno as a reference to the wood of the mimosa.

When we visited the same area in 2001 there was about 10% of the birdlife. The last movement is a rally call to encourage conservation of this unique area.

Work Details

Year: 2005

Instrumentation: 2 classical guitars, 2 violins, viola, cello.

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — The guitar parts include rapid pmi arpeggios, The string parts are of moderate difficulty.

Dedication note: Dedicated to Peter Sculthorpe

Commission note: Commissioned by Darwin International Guitar Festival.

First performance: by Raffaele Agostino, Janet Agostino, Penny Reiss, Andrew McGrath, Kylie Johnson-Leek, Rebecca Harris — 13 Jul 05. Charles Darwin University, Darwin


Performances of this work

13 Jul 05: Charles Darwin University, Darwin. Featuring Raffaele Agostino, Janet Agostino, Penny Reiss, Andrew McGrath, Kylie Johnson-Leek, Rebecca Harris.

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