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Ground zero : for treble voices (SSA double choir) a cappella

by Paul Stanhope (1998)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Gondwana Voices from the CD Selected works by AMC represented artists

Selected works by AMC represented artists


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Selected works by AMC represented artists : vol 1

Library shelf no. CD 2037 [Available for loan]

Ground zero


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Work Overview

Michael Dransfield's poem 'Ground Zero' was written in the early 1970s against the backdrop of the cold war era. Although it has something of an apocalyptic tone, it is primarily about being ready for change, and the inevitability of things being forgotten. On one level it is a plea to be ready for the changes society will inevitably go through. On the other hand, there is a slightly skeptical quality in Dransfield's view which suggests that change is also worthy of lament. The final textual epithet: "Keep moving/ wherever you stand is ground zero/ a moving target is harder to hit" seems to indicate a slightly autobiographical element. Michael Dransfield was an Australian poet who lived an itinerant and sometimes bardic lifestyle. He often travelled around the country on his motorbike, visiting one friend after another. Dransfield undoubtedly thought of himself as the "moving target" in the poem, and if he kept moving, he could maintain his much-cherished bohemian lifestyle.

Since the events of September 11 2001, the term Ground Zero has taken on new resonances. Given this situation, Ground Zero is now laden with nuances which neither the poet nor the composer could have possibly envisioned.

Work Details

Year: 1998

Instrumentation: 2 SSA (treble voice) choirs.

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — High level treble voice choir

Dedication note: Dedicated to Lyn Williams, Gondwana Voices

Commission note: Commissioned by Lyn Williams for performance by Gondwana Voices.

First performance: by Gondwana Voices, Lyn Williams — 23 Jan 99. St James Anglican Church, King St, Sydney

Performances of this work

23 Jan 99: St James Anglican Church, King St, Sydney. Featuring Gondwana Voices, Lyn Williams.

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