2.2.ca.2.2.cbsn – 4431 – timp – perc(3): tam-t/beijing gong/susp.cym/cyms/BD/bongos/3 tom-t/2 congas – strings
Score 0571512747 on sale, parts for hire
Kakadu was commissioned by Emanuel Papper as a present for his wife upon her birthday. Since the Beethoven Variations of the same name, it is well-known that kakadu is the German word for cockatoo. Certainly there are cockatoos in my music, as well as many other kinds of birds. The work, however, takes its name from the Kakadu National Park in northern Australia. This enormous wilderness area stretches from coastal tidal plains to rugged mountain plateaux, and in it may be found the living culture of its Aboriginal inhabitants, dating back for fifty thousand years. Sadly, today there are only a few remaining speakers of kakadu or gagadju.
The work, then, is concerned with my feelings about this place, its landscape, its change of seasons, its dry season and its wet, its cycle of life and death. In three parts, the outer sections are dance-like and energetic, sharing similar musical ideas. The central section is somewhat introspective, and is dominated by a cor anglais solo representing the voice of Emanuel Papper, who commissioned the work. Apart from this solo, the melodic material in Kakadu, as in much of my recent music, was suggested by the contours and rhythms of Aboriginal chant.