Two new violin works

Two works for violin and piano have recently been completed.

The first of these is the Violin Concertino: Summer Stories. This work was commissioned by Michael Patterson and Ars Musica Australis. Mike Patterson particularly wanted a work in which the solo violin part was not too difficult – that is, it would be playable by violinists of standard between Grades 7 and A.Mus.A. AMEB levels. The work is subtitled “Summer Stories” because each of its three movements relates in some way to an aspect of summer.
Nuclear explosion

The second new work for violin and piano is Maralinga. Maralinga is a place in the South Australian desert, and was the site for secret British nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s. Not a happy place in Australian history for either the Aboriginal inhabitants of the area, nor the Australian service personnel who were unwittingly used as guinea pigs for the effects of radiation.

Maralinga was written for Lara St. John, who will premiere the piece on 20 March, 2009. It was commissioned by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.

Violin fingering reference for composers

Here is a document I have created that lists the notes on each string. It is intended to help young composers writing for violin to work out which chords etc. are possible. It is a violin fingering guide.

Click on the image to download the PDF.

There is a good article on harmonics with a useful table at:

http://www.musicalobservations.com/publications/harmonics.html

Violin Concertino: Summer Stories (2009)

for violin and piano
duration: approx. 15 minutes

three movements, each of which may be performed separately

Faber Music publishing details


Audio

None yet.

 


Programme Notes

Summer is my favorite season of the year. In Australia everyone is more relaxed in summer: taking time out, going on holidays and enjoying outdoor activities.

Each of the movements of this piece is inspired by an aspect of summer in this country. The first movement, Moderato, is based upon the long, flat roads of inland Australia. Travelling down these roads in a car, the outside heat bakes the bitumen and the wider landscape, producing a shimmering effect. It is symptomatic of a country which has existed for millions of years, and which will exist for millions more, long past humankind.

The second movement, Molto Andante, is also inspired heat by the image of an elderly person reminiscing on their verandah at a summer day’s end, remembering friends and relatives long passed away.

Fun at the beach is a typical aspect of summer in Australia enjoyed by millions of people every year. The playful mood of the final movement, Vivace Giocoso, was written with this in mind.

Violin Concertino was commissioned by Michael Patterson and Ars Musica Australis.

notes by Matthew Hindson, 2009.


CD Recording Available?

    Not currently available.

    The violin part in this work is deliberately written to be playable by violinists of between a Grade 7 and A.Mus.A Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) standard. It is a suitable work for performance for HSC or Year 12 music examinations.

Maralinga (2009)

for violin and piano
duration: approx. 11 minutes

Faber Music publishing details, also available in a version for violin and string orchestra


Audio

None yet available.

 


Programme Notes

The Australian aboriginal word Maralinga may sound quite beautiful to people outside of Australia, but to Australians its connotations are much more sinister.

In the early 1950s, the nuclear arms race was underway amongst the major nations of the world. Great Britain wanted to test its recently acquired nuclear weapons, and Australia in the 1950s was a place that still regarded Britain as “home” (particularly the Australian Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies). Consequently secret nuclear testing was conducted in the South Australian desert, at Maralinga and Emu Creek between 1953-1963.

Tests included some very nasty experiments with kilograms of plutonium which subsequently contaminated the test site. Unfortunately, according to a subsequent Royal Commission into the tests, it seems that the welfare of the aboriginal inhabitants and the Australian service personnel at the test sites was never taken into account. Australian military personnel were used as unwitting guinea pigs into the effects of radiation from these experiments.

Maralinga was officially cleaned up by the year 2000, but the site and its history remains a stain upon Australia’s historical record. This piece makes reference to the long Aboriginal history at Maralinga as well as more recent events and attitudes.

Maralinga was commissioned by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, for premiere by Lara St. John (violin) on 20 March 2009.

notes by Matthew Hindson, 20009.


CD Recording Available?

    Not currently available.