Tribe's Desire was created at the request of choreographer Graeme Murphy to accompany his new work, Forty Miles - A River of Dreams, for Tasdance. It is an arrangement of my fifth string quartet which was commissioned by Ken Tribe, who wanted to help create an expanding archive of chamber music by Australian composers. Throughout his life Ken has led by example and clearly hopes more Australian patrons will emulate him in continuing to commission new chamber music. Ken's approach is a perfect model of communal goodwill, and a realisation of the desire that healthy tribes display to enrich their own welfare, along with that of their neighbours. The music itself, a complex web of aural interactions, could be the musical embodiment of the kind of friendly cooperation demanded by the best collective endeavours. Tribe's Desire contains six clear sections but like much of my music is cast in one continuous movement. There is some repetition and development of material throughout the work but this is less important to its structure than dramatic and musical contrast across the complete arc. The architecture is consciously informal, and the work may be viewed as a single-movement fantasia. There might be a narrative hidden within the music, but I'm certain there is no story.
Carl Vine, June 2010