March - June 2006
This is the second of a series of sonic exhibitions of electro-acoustic works on the theme of Australian perceptions of Asia by Australian women composers
In this work, Ros Bandt presents a cross-cultural perspective on life, cultures
and tragedies in sounds. Using the goat and the old tune of ancient Greek tragedy as musical metaphors,
she creates a soundscape that reflects a sense of loss of precious ways of life of the past, a sentimental notion that exists in many cultures from East to West
During November and December 2005, I lived in Hania Crete composing and studying my new bowed string instrument, the long necked spikefiddle the tarhu, invented by Australian luthier Peter Biffin. It has 4 bowed strings and 8 sympathetic strings, with a resonant cone inside the carved gourd-like body. It is an instrument which transcends the boundaries of east west just as Crete’s history has done having periods of Venetian and Turkish occupation. The music reflects this influence, but in real eclectic Australian style, makes something completely new from these sources. The soundscape recordings were made in the White Mountains in Crete in the morning. The tunes although notated, are called up through improvisatory response to the goats.
Tragoudia II (Feedtime) is a robust encounter at feed time. Young goats are learning to scale the wall down to the ravine where the shepherd is pouring bags of food. The tarhu becomes active with them, weaving the old tune of ancient greek tragedy through the texture. The word Tragedy is sourced from the ancient greek words for song and goat Ode and Tragos. Hence these tragoudia, old goat songs lament the loss of the wandering flute playing shepherd and the piece ends as a car sweeps by.
Mastered by Alexander Stinson
All sounds and texts copyright © 2006 by Ros Bandt
This work was commissioned by the Australia Asia Foundation in 2006
This project was supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.