This is Australia (Michael Winikoff)

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  • CPDL #22059:     
Editor: Michael Winikoff (submitted 2010-08-07).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 328 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: This edition is the original one, as prepared by the composer, and includes notes. Feel free to print and sing these pieces, but please let me know if you perform them, and I would appreciate a copy of any recordings made.
  • CPDL #15754:   
Editors: Michael Winikoff and Philip Legge (submitted 2008-01-06).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 112 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: This is Australia
Composer: Michael Winikoff

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: SAB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: Tambourine si placet

First published: 2008

Description:

When I began working on my entry to the ROCS composition competition I struggled to find suitable text. Eventually I thought “Hang on, this is supposed to be an Australian composition, so why not write about Australia?”

From then, the text, and subsequently music, took shape fairly easily and quickly. The piece is written for three parts for two reasons. Firstly, to create a light and stark texture, reflecting both the text and the Australian landscape. Secondly, to make the piece easier to perform with a small choir. Note that all men should sing the line marked “Men” (or “B”). Specifically, the alto line should only sung by female altos (so that the tone blends well with the soprano line).

Tempo markings are approximate, with the precise tempi being left to the conductor’s discretion (based on the choir, acoustics, etc.)

The very first note of the piece (the high F) is optional for the men - if it’s too high to sing comfortably, leave it out and come in on the second note, please do not sing the F an octave down!

The section with the solo (bars 37-45) could alternatively be performed with the four parts sung by S1, S2, A and men; or even, as a last resort, SATB.

The tambourine can be omitted if one is not available, but obviously it would be preferable to obtain one! The tambourine player can (and should!) be taken from within the choir, probably one of the men.

The last section of the piece, from bar 78 onwards, should be one long slow build up, leading to the end of the piece. Note that in bars 81 and 87 there is no break between “is” and “Australia”.

In a few places the words are written in a non-standard way (e.g. “do-tted” instead of “dot-ted”, or “bu-stling” instead of “bust-ling”) in order to more clearly reflect the placement of consonants.

I hope that this piece manages to capture a little of that that is modern Australia, and that you enjoy performing and hearing it.

Performances:

  • Friday 7th September 2007, RMIT Occasional Choral Society (ROCS), conducted by Philip Legge.
  • Friday 19th October 2007, RMIT Occasional Choral Society (ROCS), conducted by Philip Legge.
  • Friday 25th January 2008, Sydney Intervarsity Choral Festival, in a concert titled Visions of Australia, conducted by Brett Weymark.

Original text and translations

English.png English text

This is Australia, stark bare landscapes
dotted with shrubs and gumtrees
straight roads that seem to never end
roads leading to busy bustling cities
with manicured lawns despite the drought.

This is Australia!
Nursery rhymes, from England
food from Greece and Italian cafes
women wearing headscarves
and men with skullcaps,
This is Australia!

Vivid blue sky scorching summer sun,
This is Australia!
young, bold and new.