Voices for Organ, Didgeridoo and Narrator
Music by Philip Glass
Organ, speaker, two didjeridoos
Commissioned by the City of Melbourne to relaunch the Melbourne Town Organ.
Voices for Didgeridoo, Organ and Narrator was composed at the invitation of the City of Melbourne. Initially it began as an idea for combining the music of two established musical traditions – the organ representing the European church and art music and the didgeridoo representing the indigenous music of Australia.
I knew Mark Atkins only by his recording and was extremely pleased when he agreed to come to New York to work on integrating his didgeridoo playing with the music I composed. We spent about a week together last January, fitting his music into the composition. The idea was that this would be a starting place and in later practice and rehearsals, it would be further developed. I think we were both pleased and even a little surprised at how well the two musics came together.
I proposed very early on that we find a text and narrator to complete thework. I thought this would help in bridging whatever cultural gaps that might be presented by the organ and didgeridoo. Since the text was not available when I started, I began with the organ music – composing four separate but related compositions.
After considering text from various aboriginal writers, I asked Joy Murphy, an elder of the Wurundjeri tribe to join us as the writer of the text. Since she is also a well known speaker in her community in Melbourne, we asked her to be the narrator. She is joined by Ron Murray, a well known player and maker of didgeridoos in the Melbourne area, who accompanies her during her performance.
— Philip Glass
Dunvagen Music Publishers