Programme One: 16 October 2015
Lyell Cresswell: Voices of Ocean Winds
Lyell Cresswell was born in Wellington, and since 1985 has been a full-time composer based in Edinburgh. He has received an APRA Silver Scroll for his contribution to New Zealand music, and his works have been recommended by the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers three times. Cresswell was the 2006-7 New Zealand School of Music Composer in Residence. He has been a featured composer at many festivals around the world.
Voices of Ocean Winds was commissioned by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Radio New Zealand Concert for the 1990 New Zealand International Festival of the Arts. It is a five movement work based on
a collection of poems by New Zealander Charles Brasch called Six Water-colours (after Doris Lusk). Movements I, III and V are settings for chorus and orchestra of three of the poems - Onekaka Beach, Dark Stream and Wharf at Onekaka. Movements II and IV are for orchestra only but are named after two of the other poems: Rocks at Oaro and Trees at Totaranui. The main title, Voices of Ocean Winds is named after a poem included in Brasch's collection Home Ground.
Victoria Kelly: Piece for Violin and Piano
Victoria Kelly studied music at Auckland University before heading to the University of Southern California in LA to study film composition. Since then she's composed extensively for film including Under the Mountain, Black Sheep, and Field Punishment No. 1, which won Best Original Music in a Feature Film at the 2014 APRA Silver Scroll Awards. Victoria has also had pieces commissioned by ensembles including Stroma, NZTrio, and Turnovsky Trio.
Piece for violin and piano was written in 1994. Victoria says "This is a very simple piece in which I wanted to explore the combination of violin and piano, an ensemble I have always loved. The quality I particularly like about these two instruments is their differing ability to sustain sounds."
Warwick Blair: Euphoria
London-based New Zealander Warwick Blair studied electronic music and classical composition with Louis Andriessen in the Netherlands, where he earned an NUFFIC scholarship from the Dutch government. Blair formed the Warwick Blair Ensemble, made up of members from New Zealand and the UK, to present concerts of his cross-genre works.
About this work, Blair says "Euphoria deals with the physiological effect of sound or music on people. It is an attempt to capture the feeling of euphoria and really affect people. It has three broad sections featuring untuned percussion, quieter tuned percussion and violent untuned percussion. It is a work for five percussionists, with its debut being an APO pre-prom in the mid-80s."