Hun Tur (2023)

Symphony Orchestra
Recording Coming Soon

Duration: 12 minutes | Composed: 2023, Composed for the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Symphony Orchestra | Premiered Hamer Hall, Melbourne 2023, conducted by Richard Davis | Toured to Singapore and Malaysia

3(pic).3(EH).3(Bass).3(contra)/4.3.3 (Bass).1/ timp/3perc/Harp/Pno(Cel.)/strings

Hun is a reference to the very early history of Hungary (Magyarország) and the mistaken connection early scholars made to the Huns as ancestors of the Magyar (Hungarians). This confusion felt like a mirror to my own ancestry, as my Hungarian [or as I've recently found out Romanian]-born father never really spoke in depth about his first 18 years lived there, and he has no family tree written out beyond his parents. I recently took a DNA test to get more clarity on my origins, and it came back with 39% very specifically Hungarian on my father’s side, which was a relief. I'm also 33% Irish on my mothers side... buts that’s another story. Since my father’s passing there have been so many questions that have come up around his connection to Hungary. It's all my way of trying to stay connected to him.

Now, Tur is a reference to the Turul Bird, a creature central to Hungarian ethnogenetic mythology. It's symbolism and meaning has taken some interesting socio-political turns over the past century, but in contemporary Hungary it represents strength and most importantly 'national resurrection'.

Like many other composers, I have an affinity for mythological birds and we can easily trace the mythological symbolism of birds all the way back to ancient Egypt (an time and place with which I have explored often in my music). These creatures are potent inspiration for composers (I say Firebird, you say.....?) and to encounter the Turul Bird at this time in my life (should I have grown up hearing stories about it?), feels auspicious.

Originally intended to be a two-movement work, the two concepts Hun and Turul became inseparable during the composition process. Each source of inspiration is united by Hamis Népdal [fake folksong], an original folk song I composed for this piece, using rhythmic and harmonic devices common in many Hungarian folksongs. I have included this song in the introduction materials to this score.