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After the kingfisher's wing (2010)

Flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin and cello.  24:00.

I've often come back to the poetry of T.S. Eliot over the years, especially his mystical ruminations on time in The Four Quartets, pondering evocative phrases such as “the music from a farther room,” or “you are the music while the music lasts.”

Without drawing conscious connections, I sometimes recognize phenomena in his poetry that I strive to create in my own works. When I was composing, lines or images from the poetry sometimes popped into my head, which inspired me to explore a variety of moods, depths, and time relationships among the performers. In some sections, such as parts 1 & 3, the performers play independently of each other, following their own fluctuating tempos and dynamic swells. In others, such as part 4 and 5, they perform with very precisely interlocking rhythms. The piece ends and begins with the same movement, mirroring Eliot’s line from “East Coker”: “In my beginning is my end.”

Premiered by Janet McKay, Rianne Wilschut, Liam Viney, Vanessa Tomlinson, Graeme Jennings and John Addison at Queensland Conservatorium, 6 Oct 2010

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