Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Hi Pat – The show is Friday, March 20, and dress rehearsal and tech set-up (all in one day!) is Thursday, March 19. Here is the info: Title of musical work: Corroboree Composer: John Antill Musical tracks: 1. Welcome back ceremony – 8:29 2. Dance to the evening Star – 3:39 3. A Rain Dance – 4:55 (this will probably be cut slightly) 4. Spirit of the wind – 3:50 5. Rising Sun – 2:38 6. The Morning Star – 1:49 7. Procession of the Totems and Closing Ceremony – (Raymond wants to cut about the first 8 minutes) “Corroboree is the Anglicized version of the Aboriginal word ‘caribberie’ which describes Aboriginal ceremonies that involved singing and dancing that passed on information about The Dreaming stories. These stories linked the past with the present to determine the future and tell of the journeys and the actions of the ancestral beings who created the natural world. Each story belongs to a long complex narrative and some discuss consequences and our future being. Some dances were reserved for women or men and some involved both, depending on the sacred nature of the dance. Members of the language group performing would paint particular designs on their bodies to show the type of ceremony being held. The inspiration for Antill’s most famous work came originally from his attendance , in 1913, at a ritual Aboriginal Corroboree at Le Perouse in botany Bay. His ballet draws on material he notated at that time and his subsequent research on Aboriginal music. There is no doubt that the impact of this work in 1946 has identified is as a landmark in Australian music history. Commentators have found parallels in both the work and the public reception to Stravinsky’s RITE OF SPRING of 1913, of which Antill denied any previous knowledge. One is immediately struck by the raw primitivism in the WELCOME CERMONY, developed most effectively with its unusual orchestration and programmatic effects. The clicking percussion effect with the contrabassoon, followed by a primitive bird-like screeches soon leads to a strongly rhythmic section, reminiscent of the Rite of Spring though the apparently complex rhythms are generally managed within conventional time signatures. Melodic sources are primarily folk and jazz-like in character. The following five short movements provide contrasts with folk-like oboe and solo violin melodies and effective use of the celeste in the leisurely Dance to the Evening Star, a recall of primitivism in A Rain Dance, swirling flute work and recalls of the screeches in a masterful seven-beat Spirit of the Wind, effective use of brass, featuring piano and trumpet in the middle to create a macabre dance in compound time in The rising Sun, and some very evocative percussion, clarinet and bassoon writing that conjures up rattlesnakes and other low forms of life in the very short The Morning star. The final extended movement Procession of Totems and Closing Ceremony recalls several ideas from previous movements, and introduces a minimalist ostinato section with increasing layers of texture added. After developing some previous ideas in the middle section, the texture is later pared down to the bare minimum from which momentum and layering builds culminating in a glorious climax with chaotic brass motives and the innovative use of the bull-roarer in the closing minutes to convey a frenzied dance scene.” So – that’s the blurb from the CD cover. I think that this gives a good start. If you have any input regarding Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, costumes, relating to the above, I would love to get it. Any books, photos, etc. that you can refer me to that you know – love to have them. I will be working on this seriously the last week of December and first week of January, when I have time off. I am forwarding this to Raymond and also to Nenie Walker, who will be working on body paint for costuming. I will contact Matt Cox regarding the projection unit possibilities. If you can contact your laser guy, and also tell me what kinds of material you have in mind, and where you recommend getting them (you had a friend that got something cheap?) let me know!! Looking forward to working with you. Thanks so much.