'The composer Sadie Harrison told me that
'‘The piece is definitely a departure in style for me - an expression of my feelings about the state of the world's ecology through music that dances, sings, dreams and rages simply. As a working gardener, I am so grateful for the connectedness I feel to the earth, and increasingly mindful of Bob Randall, a Yankunytjatjara elder's words: "The land owns us. Once you realise that, you can't go on hurting and abusing the place you came from."’
'There is no doubting the heartfelt cry of Harrison's opening gesture to the first movement, "The World's Lament," nor the dancing of the following "Bandicoot and the Hollow Log". The first movement and the last frame the piece in decidedly contemporary terms, commentaries on current climate extremes. In between is a series of movements based on Aboriginal song and dance from Northern and Central Australia. Fire is an important idea to their beliefs: it was the saltwater crocodile Bäru who created fire that scorched the earth where the creation ancestors gathered. Aboriginal legend informs Harrison's narrative, with fire as a linking force, via legend, between the various clans.
'Harrison's music is exceptional here in that it at once invokes the timelessness of legend while simultaneously itself holding a fire that burns brightly today. The music is sometimes urgent, alive, very much of the now; other times, it goes interior, ruminative. Dedicated to David Lunsdaine and Ian Mitchell, it is clearly a heartfelt statement and, whilst on the surface rather simpler than some of Harrison's other works (as she herself acknowledges above), it holds multiple secrets within its breast. This is very much Fire in SONG rather than Fire in Words; the lyric impulse is everywhere.’
The full review can be read at Classical Explorer.
The CD can be purchased from Divine Art Records.
Image: Ian Mitchell and composer Sadie Harrison, photo courtesy of Sadie Harrison