Red Dirt | Silver Rain (2015)

Chamber Orchestra

Duration: 12 minutes | Composed: 2015 (American Composers Orchestra) | Premiered Carnegie Hall, NY October 2015, conducted by George Manahan | Commissioned by the League of American Orchestras with the support of the Toulmin Foundation.

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This piece was commissioned by the League of American Orchestras and American Composers Orchestra with the generous support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

The title of this piece reaches back across the Pacific Ocean and into the heart of two memories I have of my homeland. As a child I grew up on Tamborine Mountain (Queensland) where the dirt is a vibrant volcanic red. I was more use to seeing my feet stained with this color than having them in shoes.

The second memory is of the torrential downpours we would experience during the summers and of falling asleep to the sound of it pelting against the corrugated iron roof. The rhythm of these rain showers, in my recollection amplified by the material of the roof, would fluctuate between violent hammering and delicate pattering.

This piece is most of all about reconstructing memories. These memories hinge around strong sensory moments of my childhood and I have aimed to give them clear motivic/thematic life within the music. A wonderful phenomena that occurs in the recalling of memories is our ability to manipulate and alter the way we may have originally remembered these things – the way I remember my dirt red toes the very same evening I washed them clean (perhaps I was annoyed that they were still slightly stained red even though I’d scrubbed them for ages), will be completely different to how I remember them now (as symbolizing fun, freedom, color, warmth, childhood). So the trajectory of the motives/themes across this piece explore an array of possibilities and forms in how they can be remembered, recalled, and readjusted… sometimes more with the methodical mind of my adult-self, other times with what I imagine is my care-free inner child.


Full Score - Hardcopy $70 USD / $100 AUD
Full Score - PDF $60 USD / $90 AUD
Parts - PDF $70 USD / $100 AUD

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