Halcyon Presents Of Earth And Stars


Opening its 2016 season with an intimate format, Halcyon presents Of Earth and Stars, a program of solos and duos for voice and cello.

Featuring long-time collaborators mezzo-soprano Jenny Duck-Chong and cellist Geoffrey Gartner, Of Earth and Stars will feature an array of small gems, spanning four decades and three continents.

On the programme:

  • Martin Wesley-Smith: Uluru Song (1993)

Martin is well-known as both a pioneer of Australian electronic music and audiovisual composition and a prodigious writer of songs and a cappella music.  In fact, Jenny has got to know him and many of his works with The Song Company over the years and most recently sang at his and his brother Peter’s 70th birthday celebration in Kangaroo Valley in June last year.

  • Sadie Harrison: Aster I and Aster II

Sadie is an Australian composer who has been resident in the UK since 1970 where she studied under David Lumsdaine and Nicola Lefanu.  Though her name has been familiar for some years, we have recently made each other’s acquaintance via email conversations.  Her two featured solo songs are the bookends of a larger ensemble work called Aster (1995 rev. .2014) for voice, flute, violin, viola and cello which will be featured in a forthcoming program.

  • Michael Berkeley: Typewriter Music & Brad Taylor-Newling: Ombrone & Stars

British composer Michael Berkeley and young Australian composer Brad Taylor-Newling display very different voices in response to poems by Australian writer David Malouf.  Jenny discovered both these composers in 2005, performing Berkeley’s substantial song cycle Winter Fragments with Halcyon and working with Brad as part of The Song Company’s MODART series in the same year.  These pieces were commissioned for David Malouf and premiered by Jenny and Geoffrey in a private concert in 2014, but this is their first public performance.

  • Alberto Ginastera’s virtuosic Puneña No. 2 (1976) for solo cello is the most substantial work on the program, acknowledging the centenary of the composer’s birth this year.

To round off the program, two works are making a reappearance: Julian Yu’s concise and intricate work, Three Haiku (1987, first performed in 2012, and Moya Henderson’s hauntingly melancholy I Lost A World The Other Day in 2014 which was commissioned as part of the Kingfisher project.

See and hear these richly diverse works inspired by the earth and stars, performed by two seasoned artists.  

Tickets: $25/15. Book through Classikon.



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