The music of

David Lumsdaine

The music of David Lumsdaine

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Dusk Chorus

Dusk Chorus was commissioned by the City of London for the opening night of its Australasian-themed Festival in 2011. It was timed to take place in the great open space of Guildhall Yard, in the centre of the city, as dusk fell during the summer solstice.

It was a new departure for me: to compose, from material in my library, a collage in the form of choruses and solos which could be handed over to my collaborators. Rebecca de la Nieta, the choreographer and her dancers, created a ballet to perform in counterpoint to the sounds of frogs and birds; Craig Vear, composer and sound designer, created a dramatic spatial installation which transported my soundscapes from all round Australia to the architectural spaces of the historic Guildhall Yard;

Craig’s assistance was all the more necessary to me since my hearing was now very poor; I was working largely from memory — though fortunately I knew my library well — nor could I fine-tune the results of my collages to work in the architectural ambience. Craig was well experienced in this field; my memory and imagination proved adequate; so the collaboration was both exhilarating and fun.

All we needed was a fine summer evening, and though high temperatures during the day threatened a storm, we were lucky; at dusk the sky cleared for the dance and the echo of these exotic creatures briefly transformed the cityscape of London.

DL, 2012.