Monthly Archive: March 2011

Making arrangements

Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Australian Chamber OrchestraMark Mandarano of Sinfonietta of Riverdale

There's something quite relaxing about making arrangements. Tidying up the final orchestration is always one of my favourite parts of the composing process, and doing an arrangement feels like composing, but with all the hard work removed.

This month the Australian Chamber Orchestra is touring a concert curated by the celebrated New Yorker critic Alex Ross which features a newly commissioned arrangement by me of two of John Dowland's laments, featuring mezzo Fiona Campbell. The show was to have played at the Sydney Opera House, which I was pretty excited about, but due to some last minute availability crises it will now get two outings at Sydney's City Recital Hall instead, as well as performances in Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.

And for the 13th May, my friend Mark Mandarano has commissioned a new arrangement of Ravel's insanely beautiful Kaddisch (from Deux mélodies hébraïques) for his flourishing bronx-based ensemble, Sinfonietta of Riverdale.

Later in the year I'm also doing some new arrangements of Irish folk songs, together with a brand new commission for a stella line-up of musicians - clarinettist David Orlowsky and his trio, violinist Daniel Hope, and cellist Vincent Segal. That forms part of a program at the Mecklenburg Vorpommern festival in Northern Germany. More on that later.

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Facebook update

Posted on Thursday, March 3, 2011

I've created a new facebook page where I'll post regular updates on performances etc. If you're on facebook and would like to use this simple way to keep up to date please 'like' the page:

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Ligeti's Sippal, dobbal, nadihegedűvel text and translation

Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Needing poetic inspiration for a forthcoming project I turned to an old favourite - one of Ligeti's last works, the wonderfully surreal Sippal, dobbal, nadihegedűvel for mezzo soprano and four percussionists. Though I have a recording I couldn't find the programme book, so I did a bit of internet digging, and eventually deep in the bowels of the web, I found text and translation - reproduced here in the hope of making the same task easier for the next person.

Here's the entire piece:

Sippal, dobbal, nadihegedűvel
With Pipes, Drums, Fiddles

I. Fabula
Szembjon a masik hegy.
Orditanak ordasok:
Ossze ne morzsoljatok!
En is hegy,
te is negy,
nekunk ugyan egyremegy.

I. Fable
The others mountain comes toward it.
The wolves howl:
Do not crush us!
I, am mountain,
you, too, a mountain,
we are indifferent to that.

II. Tancdal

II. Dance Song
[This text cannot be translated]

III. Kinai Templom
Szent fonn Negy majd
kert lenn fem mely
tag cseng: csond
lomb:ej Szep, leng,
tart jo, Jő, mint
zold kek Hir, hult
szarny, arny. Rang, hang.

III. Chinese Temple
Sainthigh Four hence
field down bronze deep
broad far ring: Still
leaves: fair Night, swings
full comes, Good, like
green blue News, cool
wings shade. Rank, sound.

IV. Kuli
Kuli bot vag
Kuli megy
csak guri-guri
Kuli huz riksa.
Kuli huz auto.
Kuli huz sarkanyszeker.
Csak guri-guri
Kuli gyalog megy
Kuli szakall feher.
Kuli almos.
Kuli ehes.
Kuli oreg.
Kuli babszem makszem kis gyerek
ver kis Kuli nagy rossz emberek.
Csak guri-guri
Ki huz riksa?
Ki huz auto?
Ki huz sarkanyszeker?
Ha Kuli meghal?
Kuli meghal.
Kuli neeem tud meghal!
Kuli orok
csak guri-guri

IV. Coolie
Coolie stick cut.
Coolie walk
just rolling and rolling
Coolie pull rickshaw.
Coolie pull car.
Coolie pull dragon-coach.
just rolling and rolling
Coolie go on foot
Coolie beard white.
Coolie sleepy.
Coolie hungry.
Coolie old.
Coolie bean-sized poppy-seed-crumb-sized
little child
Little coolie beat big bad people, and rolling and rolling
Who pull rickshaw?
Who pull car?
Who pull dragon-coach?
If coolie die?
Coolie die.
Coolie can nooooot die!
Coolie forever
just rolling and rolling

V. Alma Alma (Tizenkettedik Szimfonia)
alma agon
alma ring az agon
alma ring a
lombos agon
ring a ring a
barna agon
alma alma
elme alma alma
almodj alszol?
mozdulatlan lengedezve
hűs szelben arnyban
alom agon
agak alma
itt egyhelyben elhajozik
indiaba afrikaba holdvilagba
alma alszol?

V. Dream (Twelfth Symphony)
An apple on the branch
an apple swings on the branch
an apple swings
on the leafy branch
on the brown branch
swing (hinta)
a dream of an apple
the mind’s dream an apple
dream dream?
motionlessly swinging
in the cool wind in the shadows
on the branch
dream of the branches
staying in this spot it casts off
to India to Africa to the moonlight
–apple, are you sleeping?

VI. Keseredes (67. Magyar Etude)
Szantottam, szantottam het tuzes sarkannyal,
hej, vegig bevetettem csupa gyongviraggal.
Szantottam, szantottam szep gyemant ekevel,
hej, vegig bevetettem hullo konnyeimmel.
Szaz nyilo rozsarol az erdon almodtam,
hej, tobbet nem aludtam, felig ebren voltam.
Hajnalban folkeltem, kakukszot szamoltam,
hej, visznek eskuvőre kedves galambommal.
VI. Bitter-Sweet (67th Hungarian Etude)
I plowed, I plowed with seven fiery dragons,
Heigh-ho, I sowed nothing but lilies of the valley.
I plowed, I plowed with a beautiful diamond plow,
Heigh-ho, everywhere I sowed my tears.
In the forest, I dreamed of a hundred blossoming roses,
Heigh-ho, I slept no longer, was half awake,
In the early morning I got up, counted the cuckoo calls,
Heigh-ho, they are taking me to be wed to my sweetheart.

VII. Szajko

VII. Parakeet
[This text cannot be translated.]

Translation: c Sharon Krebs

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