Waratah (for SATB choir, brass and percussion) was commissioned by Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for performance at the Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, on 7th July 2001, under the direction of Brett Weymark.
The work, a setting of Roland Robinson’s poem ‘Waratah’, concerns a flower which, sprung from Eden earth, burns amidst drenched depths of blue-grey bush.
When composing the music, I found inspiration in the poet’s contrasting images. His description of the waratah as a fierce and holy flower suggested to me both savage and sanctified musical ideas, as did his image of a misted, mauve-grey light glistening through crowding depths of fronds and spears and blades.
A waterfall, spilling from fern-hung heights, inspired the cascading music which flows to my setting of the final verse, wherein, the waratah is left to burn on, through the centuries, in the bush and rain.
Performers: Sydney Philharmonia Symphonic Choir and Sydney Philharmonia Ensemble, conducted by Brett Weymark @ Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, NSW, Australia. (7 July, 2001).
SUNDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2016 (2:30PM)
Performers: Blackstone-Ipswich Cambrian Choir & Brisbane Excelsior Band, conducted by David Matthew Webster @ Ipswich Civic Centre, cnr Limestone & Nicholas Streets, Ipswich QLD 4305, Australia. Tickets: Ipswich Civic Centre.
SUNDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER, 2011 (2:30PM)
Performers: Macquarie University Singers & Eastern Sydney Chamber Orchestra; Peter Ellis (conductor) – “Music Under a Southern Cross” @ Macquarie Theatre, Macquarie University, NSW, 2109, Australia.
SATURDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER, 2010 (7:30PM)
Performers: Perth Undergraduate Choral Society Inc. and The Royal Agricultural Society of WA Brass – “A Celebration of Choir and Brass” @ St Joseph’s Church, 3 Salvado Road, Subiaco, WA, Australia.
FRIDAY 25 JANUARY, 2008 (8PM)
Performers: Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival Choir and Waratah Brass, conducted by Brett Weymark @ 59th Annual Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival, Great Hall, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
SUNDAY 3 NOVEMBER, 2001 (4PM)
Broadcast: 2MBS 102.5FM presents Sydney Philharmonia Symphonic Choir and Sydney Philharmonia Ensemble, conducted by Brett Weymark @ Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House (7 July, 2001).
SATURDAY 7 JULY, 2001 (8PM) WORLD PREMIERE PERFORMANCE
Performers: Sydney Philharmonia Symphonic Choir and Sydney Philharmonia Ensemble, conducted by Brett Weymark @ Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House.