Other Works

 

No. 6      Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night (1961, bass and percussion ensemble, score lost)

                setting of the poem by Dylan Thomas, performed at Cambridge Music School by Nelson Wattie

Nos. 12, 15, 18, 20    The Odyssey (1969), Harold and William (1970), Simplicissimus (1971) &        

                Ahknaton (1972) (Linwood HS total theatre works)

No. 22    Palindrome (1973, for 5 orchestras) Commissioned by Bob Perks of the Christchurch

                instrumental School. As the name suggests it was a mirror piece using graphic notation

                Score is lost.

No. 24    The Fisherman and his Wife (1975. comic opera for soli, choir and orchestra - suitable for

                schools to perform)

No. 25    Stone Poem (1976, 2 wind quintets, 2 speakers and stone curtain)

                Commissioned by APRA for the Sonic Circus IVin Christchurch 1976. Written for the Ilam Wind                

                Ensemble who performed the work in the Ngaio MarshTheatre, conducted by Thomas Rogers.

                Scored for double wind quintet placed antiphonally, two speakers (Michael Harlow and Kit

                Powell) and a stone curtain (played by the speakers). Recording by Radio New Zealand was lost.

No. 69    Puppet Desert (1990. music for a Russian puppet theatre)

                Our Russian friend Juri Sobelov, arranged this commission with his producer friend, Mischa

                Husid. At this time Mischa was director of a Puppet Theatre in Cheliabinsk (east of the Urals) but

                by the time the project was completed, 1988, he was director of the State Puppet Theatre in

                (then) Leningrad. Mischa invited us (Brigitte and me) to visit Russia in Oct. 1988. At this stage he

                was commuting between Leningrad and Cheliabinsk and hoped to be able to show us both

                places (plus Moscow). Cheliabinsk, however, still had nearby military installations and foreigners

                were not permitted to go there so we received visas only for Moscow and Leningrad.


                I had already received the Russian text, with English summary, some months before, and I had

                tapes of Juri reading the Russian texts I was to set, so I was able to take most of the songs with    

                me on tape. Mischa was delighted, as was (I think) the author of the work who travelled with us

                by train (overnight) between Moscow and Leningrad and back. There were numerous non-sung

                musics and sound effects, which we also discussed and the following spring when Mischa visited

                us in Eglisau to complete the project. The piece was produced (after long delays) and we

                received a Video of the production which looked quite splendid, but which, in spite of knowing the

                story well, was difficult for us to follow.


                The Russians love drawing up contracts. I had one with the state theatre for this work. It promised

                me 2000 rubles (about CHF 5000) for the completed piece. A year later, however, when the Iron

                Curtain fell for ever, the ruble depreciated to the extent that it wasn’t even worth picking up what

                was owed to me.


                Un Quart d'Heure avec Dom Juan (March 1991) Tape, Soprano, Spoken voice (feminine), Dom

                Juan is silent.


                This piece had a difficult start but a good finish. Mischa had been in Toulouse and asked a

                producer/writer, André Benedetto, to take part in the Don Giovanni project, the idea behind being

                that he could later tour in France with his troupe. Benedetto wrote the text of a dialogue between

                a younger and an older sister. The older woman (spoken) tries to prevent her younger sister

                (sung) from making the same mistakes with D.G. which she made - all in vain. It purports to be a

                quarter hour but even with very rapid delivery of the spoken text which often overlaps the sung

                text it was almost half an hour long.


                I received my copy of the text (after long delays) via St Petersburg. I rang back to say that I would

                do it, but Almira, Mischa's girlfriend, misunderstood me and told Mischa I wasn't doing it. I went

                ahead and didn't ring again until it was nearly finished. This time I spoke to Juri, who said by the

                way, it was a pity I wasn't doing it. By this time they had of course been using other music, but

                they agreed to go back to mine. I recorded Fiona's voice (as the younger sister) and a French

                speaking friend, Josianne Wehrli, as the older woman and stuck the whole thing together out of

                tiny fragments - an enormous job, but the result was good and the Russians were delighted (if not

                by the length - it was intended as an insert in a much bigger work). In the mean time Mischa had

                had a fight with Benedetto, France was out. Eventually they had an invitation to take it to a Youth

                Theatre Competition in Lugano, where they won first prize. We travelled to Lugano and also saw

                it again in Bülach. The whole work was well over 3 hours long (typical Russian length) with other

                music from Vladimir Tarasov (percussionist), Schnittke and other Mozart fragments.


                My payment for the music was to be a picture by Juri, which he left lying with several others in a

                big folder in Lugano. It never showed up again! Later I received the picture of two stylised

                archetypal monsters copulating, which was also used for their production poster.

Kit (aged 36) playing the

stone curtain, 1976

Don Giovanni picture by Juri Sobolev                                                Juri and Mischa Husid