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Red Desert Sand

Thursday 22 June, 2023
National Museum of Australia, 6.30pm

William Barton Voice, Didgeridoo
CSO Chamber Ensemble

William Barton
Square Circles Beneath the Red Desert Sand

Ros Bandt

Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE
String Quartet No. 7 Red landscape

Katy Abbott

Aaron Wyatt
World premiere, new CSO commission

$60–67 Adults
$55–61 Concession (means-tested pensions)
$35 Under 35
$17 Student rush

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Abstract graphic showing red and pink paints

This program responds to the vastness of the desert landscape and to one of the richest and oldest colours on the spectrum: red.

We open with William Barton’s Square Circles Beneath the Red Desert Sand, written about the spirits of his country, Kalkadunga country (Mount Isa). This reverberant work for didgeridoo, voice and string quartet is collaborative and improvisatory, making each performance a unique, evocative experience.

Landscape features prominently in the music of Peter Sculthorpe, one of Australia’s most well-known composers. Marked angoscioso (distressing), his striking String Quartet No. 7 is a response to a painting by Russell Drysdale that depicts a desert expanse fiercely lit by the sun.

Katy Abbott’s Re-echo for vibraphone and cello traverses both physical and emotional landscapes. This reflective piece is a reimagining of Abbott’s earlier work, The Empty Quarter, named for the vast desert region in the Arabian Peninsula.

This program also features Red, an ABC Classic commission scored for electrified steel from acclaimed sound artist Dr Ros Bandt, and a substantial new work from Noongar violist and scholar Aaron Wyatt.

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