An Australian War Requiem
As one travels through the idyllic-countryside of… the Somme, suddenly in the midst of a cornfield there is a cemetery with row upon row of white headstones… From a distance a cross can often be discerned on the horizon rising up to the heavens and it is inconceivable, beyond comprehension that once, such a gentle and beautiful landscape was a quagmire, a sea of mud, trenches, craters, a place where the stench of death was all around.
I cannot forget the cemetery just outside of Villers-Brettoneux. Set on a gentle slope and with a cold wind blowing in the early morning light, I was profoundly moved and inspired by the sounds, the images which invoked a haunting music.
In 1914 the world was swept up in the fiery cataclysm of war, enduring sacrifice and loss on an inconceivable scale.
The work premiered on August 10th 2014 in a performance given at the Sydney Town Hall which was acclaimed by critics and audience alike. Since then it has been broadcast nationally on ABC Classic FM, Fine Music 102.5 and 3MBS FM. A further performance took place on Armistice Day, November 11th 2018 at the Sydney Town Hall.