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Losing the plot : four songs for children's voices and piano

by Paul Stanhope (2005)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Noel Ancell, Australian Boys Choir, Calvin Bowman, Charlie Sdraulig from the CD Calls & cries

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Calls & cries


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Losing the plot


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Work Overview

Losing the Plot is a collection of songs for children's voices and piano with texts by Michael Leunig. They were written as a follow up to my earlier cycle of Leunig pieces called Songs of Innocence and Joy for treble voices and chamber orchestra.

The first of these pieces, Talking to My Shoe was commissioned and premiered by the Sydney Children's Choir as part of their 15th anniversary in 2004. The remaining three songs in the cycle were commissioned by the Network of Treble Ensembles (NoTE) which includes Brisbane Biralee Voices, Gondwana Voices, Young Adelaide Voices and Young Voices of Melbourne. All the songs in this set are tinged with an exuberant sense of the absurd, but as usual with Leunig's texts, there are many layers of meaning and often twists in the tale. Like many poets before him, Leunig uses nonsense to speak truths that are deeper than they might seem on first appearances.

The advanced version has divisi in up to three parts; a second intermediate version with more unison lines and fewer divisi is also available.

Work Details

Year: 2005

Instrumentation: Treble choir (in unison or 2 parts), piano.

Duration: 11 min.

Difficulty: Easy — Upper Primary to Middle High school treble voices.

Contents note: 1. Talking to my shoe -- 2. Underpants anthem -- 3. La-la land -- 4. Lost the plot.

Dedication note: Talking to my shoe - to Lyn Williams & the SCC Stanhope Choir; Underpants anthem - to Stuart Greenbaum; La-la land - to Michelle; Lost the plot - to Sally Whitwell.

Commission note: Commissioned by NOTE (Network for Treble Voices), Sydney Children's Choir.

First performance: by Sydney Children's Choir — Jan 06. Melbourne

Performances of this work

Unknown date: Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Featuring Sydney Children's Choir, Paul Stanhope.

16 Sep 2011: at Brighton to Bondi (Sydney Town Hall). Featuring Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.

17 Jun 2010: at Voices of Celebration (Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall). Featuring Sydney Children's Choir.

Jan 06: Melbourne. Featuring Sydney Children's Choir.

Sep 04: Sydney. Featuring Sydney Children's Choir.

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