Aviation was commissioned in 2000 by The Australian Voices, directed by Stephen Leek. The score received its first performance on Friday 4th May, 2001 at the “Australian Voices Festival” in Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
Scored for a cappella SATB choir, the work is a setting of John Kinsella’s poem of the same name. The text of the poem comprises three stanzas – “South”, “Mid-point” and “North”. Each stanza describes a vista from the perspective of a high window or vantage point.
To the South, an “ocean-going liner of the air” is seen curving towards the ice-packs of Antarctica, leaving behind southern cliffs and pivoting seagulls.
At Mid-point, with “faces pressed against windows”, we circle the aerodrome while, below, helicopters hang over their pad amidst the sucking and blowing of heavy engines.
Looking North, “to where the air is clean”, a glider catches an updraft: “the sun like ice, a drunken lazy flight in fine weather.”
I sincerely thank John Kinsella and Fremantle Arts Centre Press for granting me permission to create this choral setting of the poem, “Aviation”. I also warmly thank The Australian Voices for affording the work its world premiere performance.