2013 ‘The Laughing Moon’

Rehearsals with Ross Edwards

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Ross Edwards about

‘The Laughing Moon’

The Laughing Moon – Five Bagatelles for Wind Quintet (2012)

1. Laughing Dance
2. Interlude with Imaginary Birds
3. Ecstatic Dance
4. Moon Song
5. Clapping Dance

When I was fortunate enough to receive a commission from Susan Gregory to compose a work for wind quintet, I decided that the repertoire for this combination could use some music that was ‘light but not trite’. Accordingly, I aimed at being listener friendly while at the same time seeking to engage at a deeper level. Naturally I took the opportunity to show off the brilliant virtuosity of The New Sydney Wind Quintet – based at the Sydney Conservatorium – for whom the work was composed.

Some of the music draws on material from other works of mine and this has been substantially remodelled for its new context while retaining its original ethos.

The title derives from the first and the fourth movements: Laughing Dance is based on an earlier work whose title, Djanaba, comes from the people who originally inhabited the Sydney Basin. It means laughter, which I felt was in keeping with the light-hearted spirit of the music. In the brief, joyous finale, Clapping Dance, the horn player is asked to play Aboriginal rhythm sticks.

Ross Edwards.

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Performance at The Independent Theatre

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