ros pic

Ros Dunlop
clarinetist
The Tekee Tokee Tomak Tour

East Timor multimedia

USA, Sept-Oct 2003


bottom

mw-s pic

Martin
Wesley-Smith

composer


this tour has been successfully completed

a similar tour, to Europe and the USA, is being planned for Sept-Oct 2005
Interested in us doing a gig at your place? Get in touch!

from e-mails received post-tour:

1. from Radford, Virginia:

"What an experience! It was interesting and thought-provoking and so well performed. The audience was small, but I think very appreciative and attentive and absorbed in the whole experience. Thanks for arranging such an extraordinary program."

2. from the University of Northern Illinois:

"Thanks for the great program here. Several of my students talked to me about the concert very enthusiastically."

3. from the University of Santa Clara:

"The performance yesterday was absolutely stunning - powerful and substantial, and beautifully crafted - if I had my way, I would require all of our students to see it since so much echoed essential principles of our University.

"Again on behalf of our faculty staff and students, thank you for reminding us that the performing arts are among the most effective tools we have for the promotion of justice in the world."

4. from Bowling Green State University:

"Thanks so much for your visit ... I truly enjoyed your 'provocative' presentation."


Our thanks to the New South Wales Ministry for the Arts and its International Program for a grant that enabled this tour to go ahead.



general blurb | concert repertoire | lecture/demo topics | pics | schedule
Dunlop & Wesley-Smith bios | e-mail Dunlop | e-mail Wesley-Smith

see reviews of our Feb 6 2003 London concert

** click here to download complete program notes, technical requirements, photos and other info **

optimised for Internet Explorer (yeah, we know ...)

Ros Dunlop is one of Australia's leading clarinetists, especially of contemporary repertoire. Martin Wesley-Smith is one of Australia's best-known composers and multimedia artists. Ros has played, and many of Martin's pieces have been heard (and seen), in many parts of the world. On May 20 2002, East Timor, a country and people ravaged by Indonesian occupying forces from 1975 to 1999, became the world's newest nation. Dunlop, Wesley-Smith and East Timor - these are the three main elements of The Tekee Tokee Tomak Tour.

In 2002 we visited East Timor twice, giving concerts in Dili, Ermera, Hato Bulliko, Laga, Los Palos and Same. In 2003 we toured Great Britain, giving concerts in Manchester, Kent, Reading, Liverpool, Glasgow, Oxford, Kingston, York, London and, on the way home, Hong Kong. In September and October 2003 we will be giving concerts in the USA. These, too, will focus on East Timor, the program to include Martin's multimedia pieces X (about Xanana Gusmão), for clarinet & CD-ROM (1999), Welcome to the Hotel Turismo, for bass clarinet & CD-ROM (2000), and Tekee Tokee Tomak (2003), for clarinet & CD-ROM. Also in the repertoire: Merry-Go-Round, with images of Afghanistan by Australian artist George Gittoes. We are hoping that a new piece about Iraq, also with George's images, will be finished in time ...

The current world situation has made our concerts more relevant - urgent, even - than ever. Many people who witnessed our program on our last tour commented that even though they didn't know much about East Timor, they saw the pieces as a metaphor for many similar, more familiar situations. Our program asks, indirectly, fundamental questions about power, privilege and human rights.

American composer Bill Brooks, who teaches at the University of York in England, wrote in an e-mail (Feb 6 2003):

"a fine show, provocative and skilled ... there have been ongoing mutters amongst the postgrads about art, politics, propaganda, and The Whole Damn Thing ever since you left"

Live clarinet, computer sounds, and stunning images of East Timor, many taken during the carnage of the Indonesian occupation ...

Several concerts have been organised so far, but there is plenty of room in the schedule for more. Get in early and avoid the rush! Both Dunlop and Wesley-Smith will also be available for talks, lecture/demonstrations etc, either separately or, better, together.

enquiries:
e-mail Martin Wesley-Smith [PO Box 6159 Kangaroo Valley NSW 2577 Australia; tel: +61 (0)2 44 651 299]



an image from X for clarinet & CD-ROM: torture photo [click photo to enlarge]


concert repertoire | lecture/demo topics | Dunlop & Wesley-Smith bios
schedule | e-mail Ros | e-mail Martin | London review 1 | London review 2

Ros Dunlop has been a strong advocate for the cause of new music for the clarinet for most of her professional life. She has premiered many new compositions for clarinet and has had many written especially for her. She has performed throughout Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Europe and the USA, including a recital of Australian works at the International Clarinet Festival in New Orleans in August 2001. Her two solo CDs have received wide acclaim (her third - X - was released just last month). As a member of the chamber duo Charisma, she premiered five multimedia works at the 2002 Darwin International Guitar Festival and recently released a CD of works for clarinet and cello. She is also a member of the clarinet duo Touchbass, with whom she premiered a number of newly commissioned works at the 2002 Australian National Clarinet Festival. She teaches clarinet at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

For more information, see her home page

Martin Wesley-Smith is an eclectic composer at home in a diverse range of idioms. Two main themes dominate his music: the life, work and ideas of Lewis Carroll (e.g. the chamber piece Snark-Hunting, the choral piece Songs for Snark-Hunters, and the full-length choral music theatre piece Boojum!); and the plight of the people of East Timor (e.g. Kdadalak (For the Children of Timor) and VENCEREMOS!). A multimedia version of the "audio-visual music theatre" piece Quito - about schizophrenia and East Timor - has been performed many times in many countries by The Song Company. One of his pieces - For Marimba & Tape - is the most-performed piece of Australian so-called "serious art-music" (it exists in versions for other instruments, too, including For Clarinet & Tape). For many years Director of the Electronic Music Studio at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Wesley-Smith is now a full-time composer and duck-keeper.

For more information, see his home page


from Dunlop and Wesley-Smith's concert tour of East Timor, March 2002 (click to enlarge):


rob with kids audience at ermera timorese kids
Rob Wesley-Smith
with kids in Gleno [72K]
audience in Ermera [58K]

photography 2002 Martin Wesley-Smith

Timorese young people
near Hato Bullico [128K]

"I had complete strangers coming up, with tear-stained faces (saying) how powerful it was ..."

concert repertoire includes
East Timor multimedia:
Australasian
and
American
composers listed in alphabetical order within categories
Tekee Tokee Tomak

Using photographs by various photographers, this piece was premiered in Manchester on our tour last January-February of the UK and Hong Kong. David Morris described it, in Clarinet & Saxophone, Spring 2003, as a "portrayal of post-independence East Timor, full of smiling people and beautiful landscapes".

Like all of Wesley-Smith's recent multimedia pieces, it requires a Macintosh computer (which we will bring with us), an LCD or DLP data projector (readily available these days - we will bring one of those, too), some sort of screen, and a stereo sound system.

cl & CD-ROM
[2002]

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e-mail him

Martin Wesley-Smith

images by various photographers

"Tekee Tokee Tomak" means, in a rough translation from the Tetum, "Let's get together and enjoy ourselves". This is what the East Timorese people are now trying to do in order to re-build their shattered lives and country.

12'
Welcome to the Hotel Turismo

Hotel Turismo

... they went mad - they cried, and cheered (four times back to the stage, and I was beginning to get emotional too), and were spellbound. A couple of times - like in the cadenza, and right at the end before the 'Welcome to the Hotel T' comes back), it was SO quiet - it freaked me out ... I had complete strangers coming up, with tear-stained faces (saying) how powerful it was ...

cellist Rachel Scott after a 2002 performance of Turismo in London

bass cl & CD-ROM
[2000]

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e-mail him

Martin Wesley-Smith

images by various photographers

David Vance in The Sydney Morning Herald, August 13 1998, writing about Wesley-Smith's Timor piece Quito:
"(His) music has never been far removed from political or social comment, and his gift for pastiche has served him well in adopting familiar styles, often (but not always) drawn from popular music, to ironic or satiric purposes."

from a Timorese listener in Darwin to the ABC broadcast of Quito, May 6 1997:
"It is a masterpiece of music. I cried my eyes out until no tears were left. I felt the tragedy of East Timor perforating my bones as I never felt before. I'm going to buy the CD."

** to download and view a short Shockwave movie (2.6MB) of the last section of this piece, click here

16'
X

Commissioned by American clarinetist F. Gerard Errante, this piece has been performed, by him and by Ros, many times in the USA. It was composed in 1999 as the Indonesian military-promoted militia carnage was raging across East Timor. At the time, resistance leader Xanana Gusmão (the "X" of the title) was in Cipinang Prison, Jakarta.

see reviews of a performance of "X" in London, Feb 6 2003

see, also, separate web page

cl & CD-ROM
[1999]

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e-mail him

Martin Wesley-Smith

images by various photographers

an audio-only version of this piece can be heard on Ros Dunlop's CD X:

X CD
12'
Afghanistan multimedia:
Merry-Go-Round

with guest cellist or bass clarinetist
or in its solo version

about Afghanistan & Afghan refugees, commissioned by Charisma with financial support from the Music Board of the Australia Council

David Morris: "... the evening was brought to a close with Merry-Go-Round, (Wesley-Smith's) treatment of contemporary Afghanistan. More scenes passed rapidly before us, including children and men having naive fun aboard a small home-made merry-go-round. This, we were told, was an allegory for the repeated invasions suffered by the people of Afghanistan, but it worked most powerfully as a striking reinforcement of common humanity."

cl (& bass cl or vlc)
& CD-ROM
[2002]

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e-mail him

Martin Wesley-Smith

photography by George Gittoes
and Alice Wesley-Smith

gg pic

George Gittoes is one of Australia's foremost figurative painters. He gives us a powerful, close up response to conflicts best known to us from the nightly news - famine and peacekeeping in Somalia, de mining after civil wars in Cambodia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Kibeho massacre in Rwanda, sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, the elections in South Africa which brought Mandela to power, eruptions to the peace process in the Middle East - together with journeys to less familiar places - China, Tibet, Bougainville, and most recently, the effects of the War on Terror in Pakistan, Aghanistan; 'shock and awe' in Iraq.

16'
Iraq multimedia:
Weapons of Mass Distortion

about the Coalition of the Killing's 2003 invasion of Iraq

These days we are seeing more and more of what in 1946 George Orwell exposed (in "Politics and Language") as the deceits and devices of "doublespeak". For example: "collateral damage" really means the maiming and killing of innocent civilians; "removal with extreme prejudice" means assassination; "incontinent ordnance" are bombs which hit schools and hospitals by mistake; "active defense" is invasion; and an "energetic disassembly" is a nuclear explosion. During the Vietnam War, "limited duration protective reaction air strikes" meant bombing Vietnamese villages. In Australia, asylum-seekers, who have committed no offence, are dismissed as "illegals". As Melbourne barrister Julian Burnside points out: "(Language) can hide shocking truth, it can deceive a nation, it can hand electoral victory to the morally bankrupt."

Rumsfeld's word "deconfliction" meant invading Iraq - at the cost of thousands of lives, massive damage, and billions of dollars - to stop it using (apparently nonexistent) weapons of mass destruction and giving them to terrorists with whom it apparently had no links. This piece looks at the abuse of language, particularly the use of doublespeak in undermining the democracy in whose name we invaded Iraq.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."

cl & CD-ROM
[2003]

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e-mail him

Martin Wesley-Smith

photography by George Gittoes and others
cartoons by Steve Bell, Alan Moir, Peter Nicholson and others
some lyrics by Peter Wesley-Smith
choir: Canberra Choral Society
tenor soloist: David Hamilton
concept, music, programming, script etc:
Martin Wesley-Smith

Some might disagree with the viewpoint of this piece. But Iraq was invaded in order to bring democracy to the poor oppressed people of Iraq, who had been suffering under the yoke of Saddam Hussein's despotic rule. Our own democracy still allows (although it's under threat), free speech. If this piece provokes discussion of the issues involved, then well and good ...

some light reading:

Pitt: The Dog Ate My WMDs
Cory: If We Knew Where It Was, Why Don't We Know Where It Is?
Penn: Kilroy's Still Here
Weiner: Germany In 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism
Shahzad: US Turns to the Taliban

13'

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pieces for clarinet & CD/electronics
include:
You Can Take It Anywhere

This was written for American clarinetist Gerard Errante on one of his visits to Australia.

Bailey:

"In this work, the juxtaposition of intervals creates a whole world of harmony for solo instrument. A lot of careful work went into the actual pitch of the notes which followed one another. It is 'careful' for reasons of ease to facilitate a linear harmonic structure. The performer uses this to be free with the way s/he takes it ..."

bass cl & delay
[1998/2001]

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Judy Bailey

born in New Zealand; renowned jazz pianist, composer, arranger and music educator; lives in Sydney, performing throughout Australia and New Zealand; has taken part in many jazz festivals and composing women's festivals; has recorded two CDs for the ABC and has toured Australasia for Musica Viva; recipient of numerous prizes, including a "MO" award for Female Jazz Performer and an APRA award for Jazz Composition

bailey pic

2-10'
Circles in the Sun

Brockman:

Shortly before embarking on this piece, I read a short story by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges titled The Circular Ruins. In it, a wizard paddles upstream to an overgrown abandoned ritual site in the forest, the sacred circle of the god of fire. There he begins the arduous task of dreaming a man. Yes, through his dreams, after untold torment and numerous false starts over several years, he did indeed produce a son.

The wizard spent years instructing his son in the mysteries of the universe and the cult of fire. When he was ready, the young man was sent downstream many miles away, but, first, the wizard destroyed in the boy's memory all recollection of knowing he was merely a phantom. Later, the wizard heard talk of a charmed young man, at a temple in the North, who was able to walk on fire. "Of all the creatures that people the earth, Fire was the only one who knew his son to be a phantom".

As the story ends, with fire engulfing his circle in the forest, the old wizard must come to terms with his own death. Prepared to walk into the flames, "with relief, with humiliation, with terror, he understood that he also was an illusion, that someone else was dreaming him." Like the story, the music is about circles with circles.

cl & CD
[2002]

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e-mail her

Jane Brockman

is a US composer based in Santa Monica. Her focus is entirely on concert music, which has been recorded by many labels and toured by many ensembles. After some years as professor of composition in Connecticut she now works full time as a composer in California.

jb pic

7'
Bastard's Broth

commissioned by English saxophonist Kyle Horch, Steve arranged, in 2000, the saxophone part for bass clarinet; with the format of a jazz medley, the piece whizzes through many different styles very quickly with a zaniness reminiscent of Frank Zappa


In 2001 Steve was a guest composer at the fifth Forum for Contemporary Piano Music in Heilbronn, Germany; in 2002 he was a guest professor in composition at the Musikhogskolan in Piteå, Sweden.

bass cl & CD
[1993]

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e-mail him

Steve Ingham

studied at the University of York (England) with Bernard Rands, the University of Bloomington, Indiana, with Donald Erb, and, later, with Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough at the Staatliche Hochschule fur Musik, Freiburg. He now teaches at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales.

si pic

5' 34"
King Friday

Lowenstern:

"(This) is in response to an episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Clarinetist Richard Stoltzman was the guest and the two of them were at Joe Negre's music shop. Watching this episode unfold, I figured this was going to be ripe with possibilities so I immediately popped in a video cassette. Stoltzman was describing the members of the clarinet family when Mr. Rogers asked, 'What's that big one?' Stoltzman answered, 'Oh that's a bass clarinet. It's found mostly in bands. It's pretty obscure and hard to play. There isn't really much call for it.' I was livid. Since both King Friday and Mr. Stoltzman were living in the land of make-believe, I was inspired to write this piece."

bass cl & CD
[1996]

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e-mail him

Michael Lowenstern

bass clarinetist; has performed, recorded and toured with ensembles of every variety including The Klezmatics, The Steve Reich Ensemble, The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; appointed in 2000 to the New Jersey Symphony; also active as a composer for concert, recordings, dance, film, CD-ROM, advertising, and his own performing ensembles; is on the faculty of the Juilliard School.

ml pic

5' 30"
Aurora

Smith:

"At the time this piece was created, I was in the middle of a Canadian winter. I wanted to create the feeling of huge space, the continual shift of focus suggesting the flickering lights of the Aurora Borealis."

bass cl & CD
[2001]

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Margery Smith/Will Frasier

Margery is an accomplished clarinetist as well as composer. Her solo engagements have included appearances with the Sydney Symph as soloist on clarinet and saxophone. Her latest work, T(F)ree Radicals for 3 Bass Clarinets, was composed for Touchbass.

ms pic

10' 30"
For Clarinet & Tape

This, and its version for marimba, is the most-performed piece of Australian chamber music of all time. CD recording by Peter Jenkin (A Day in the Life of a Clarinet, Tall Poppies TP086).

For Marimba & Tape has been recorded by Alison Eddington, Daniella Ganeva, Rebecca Lagos, Graeme Leak (order his new book on-line here), William Moersch and Tom O'Kelly.

cl & CD
[1983]

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e-mail him

Martin Wesley-Smith

see discography

Wesley-Smith's latest commissioned work - True, for soprano, choir, flute & piano - was premiered on Sat Oct 26 2002 by the Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire (click here to read the libretto by Peter Wesley-Smith)

11'
White Knight & Beaver

one of Wesley-Smith's best-known Lewis Carroll pieces; it's as if a bass clarinet-playing Dodgson (Carroll's real self) shows Alice how interesting snippets of music result when you play a music-box backwards and upside-down - and how you can discover palindromes and doublet processes if you play through a musical encoding of the DNA of the beta globin sub-unit of the haemoglobin of Escherichia coli, a bacterium found in the stomach

bass cl & CD
[1985]

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e-mail him

Martin Wesley-Smith

A new recording of this piece, played by Charisma (Ros Dunlop, clarinet, and Julia Ryder, cello), has just been released on the CD Charisma (Greatwhitenoise GWN002)

for information about Wesley-Smith's major Carroll piece Boojum!, for choir, piano & percussion, click here

9'
Onomatopoeia

Westlake:

"(this piece) was written following an intensive study of the contemporary bass clarinet repertoire with Dutch exponent Harry Spaarnay; it represents a release from the rigours and discipline that surround much twentieth-century repertoire into a more relaxed improvisational style. A unique sound world is established by remaining for much of the piece in the little used upper register of the instrument and incorporating techniques such as circular breathing, multiphonics, slap tongue and flutter tongue."

"a breath of fresh air with its bright colours, lively rhythms & brilliant ideas" (The Australian)

bass cl & delay
[1984]

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e-mail him

Nigel Westlake

Having written many chamber and orchestral works and film scores (e.g. Babe), Nigel is one of Australia's most successful composers. He is also an excellent clarinetist.

7'
solo pieces include:
Steep Steps

This is a short work for bass clarinet written as a present for Carter's clarinetist friend Virgil Blackwell. It is the latest in a succession of short solos and duos that he began in the mid 1990s, most of them dedicated to colleagues. The form of the piece is free and doesn't fall into any traditional plan. Throughout, Carter plays with dramatic contrasts in timbre among the bass clarinet's different registers. The title may come from the prominent leaps from register to register.

bass cl
[2001]

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Elliott Carter

Twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and the first composer to receive the United States National Medal of the arts, Elliott Carter is internationally recognized as one of the leading American voices of the classical music tradition. Encouraged into a musical career by friend and mentor Charles Ives, he is one of the handful of living composers elected to the Classical Music Hall of Fame. At 91 he wrote his first opera! At 94 he is still composing and exploring new fields ...

ec pic

3'
Instant Winners

Until recently limited to transcriptions, the solo literature for Eb clarinet has begun to include new music written immediately for the instrument and performed by specialists such as Virginia Anderson, whose work inspired these pieces. Of the nine short "Instant Winners," none much more than a minute long, any number may be performed in any order. They explore contrasting sonic resources (reed taps, multiphonics, squeaks, speaking, as fast as possible random finger movements, quarter tones, hum and play, foot stomping) or, should one wish to hear them as such, musical moods.

Eb cl
[1984]

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Barney Childs

Childs was largely self-taught until the early 1950s, when he studied at Tanglewood with Carlos Chavez and Aaron Copland and in New York with Elliott Carter. Eclectic in nature, Childs' compositions freely explored diverse avenues of musical thought and drew inspiration from many sources, including traditional western concert music (especially that of such composers as Hindemith, Ives, Ruggles and Copland), the open form works of John Cage, and jazz of all styles.

2-8'
Frenzy and Folly, Fire and Joy

"All the uproarious pipes we played! Frenzy and folly, fire and joy!". The quote is from Australian poet John Shaw Neilson, whose poems have inspired several of the composer's works. This one is in 'ballad' form with nine 'verses'. The characteristic feature is that, despite a recurring 'rhyme-scheme' and unifying ideas from verse to verse, each one shakes a new narrative 'twist' out of its sleeve to produce something mid-way between strophic and 'through-composed' form, as well as mid-way between tonal and atonal styles.

cl solo
[1999]

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Graham Hair

Australian composer Graham Hairhas been Professor of Music at Glasgow University since 1990. For ten years before that he was head of composition at the Sydney Conservatorium. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Monash University, and has been a Visiting Professor at Princeton and Composer in Residence at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. His works include many for women's voices (e.g. Serenissima, Songs of the Sibyls), pieces based on popular music, and a Choral Symphony, The Great Circle.

hair pic

9'
25 Measures

written for Australian clarinetist Peter Jenkin, this piece is short, succinct, quirky and lighthearted

cl solo
[1996]

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e-mail her

Elena Kats-Chernin

was born in Tashkent, in the former USSR, in 1957. In 1975 she migrated with her family to Australia, where she studied at the NSW Conservatorium. After studying with Helmut Lachenmann in West Germany, she remained in Europe for over a decade, writing incidental music for State theatres in Berlin, Vienna, Hamburg, and Bochum. She returned to Australia in 1994 and is now resident in Sydney where she is frequently commissioned and performed.

elena pic

1'
Etude for Barney

Phillip Rehfeldt asked a number of composers, and clarinet composer/performers, to write short pieces for Barney Childs. This was Eric's response.

cl solo
[1990]

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Eric Mandat

composer/performer (clarinet); professor of music at the University of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, teaching clarinet; prolific composer for clarinet and bass clarinet; his mentor has been William O Smith; he has recorded and performed extensively throughout the USA with a wide variety of musicians

em pic

4'
Hauturu

This piece ("Where the Winds Rest") was written as a response in sound to a visit to the rugged island of Little Barrier (Hauturu), a bird sanctuary in the Hauraki gulf. John marvelled at the largely unspoilt grandeur of this fascinating environment with its extremely rough beeches, huge trees amid thick jungle, and the many varieties of indgenous birds.

bass cl
[1992]

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John Rimmer

recently retired from Auckland University where he held the position of Chair of the School of Music. One of New Zealand's leading composers, he now divides his time between composing and conducting.

9'
Character Sketches
(Movement 2: KP)

Satterwhite:

KP: a girl I used to know who stopped her strident bitching only to be vacuous. This movement is one of four. Basically all movements decribe various women in the my life.

cl solo
[1973]

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Marc Satterwhite

Marc Satterwhite is a composer and bass player. In his performance capacity he has played in the Mexico City Philharmonic. His experiences in Latin America have had a profound influence on his composition. He has taught at the University of Western Michigan, University of Indiana and Lamar University; he is currently on the faculty at the University of Louisville. He has written for a variety of genres, and his music has been performed all over the USA, South America, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and South Africa.

8'
Cut to the Chase

the title refers to early vaudeville routines when the vaudeville artist, upon realising that the audience is not responding or something has gone wrong on stage, "cuts to the chase" when he or she is chased around to close the act ...

cl solo
[1996]

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Richard Vella

Australian composer. At one time Professor of Music at the now-defunct Music Department at the University of Latrobe, Richard now lives in Queensland.

rv pic

45"
Scream

a highly virtuosic work for bass clarinet, Scream explores both ends of the instrument's range, delivering at lightning speed; it was first performed in the USA by bass clarinetist Henri Bok at the International Clarinet Festival in Oklahoma

bass cl solo
[2000]

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Paul Witney

Born in 1973, Australian composer Paul Witney studied with Nigel Butterley. His works have been performed in the Ukraine, Canada, USA, Holland, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

pw pic


lecture/demo topics include:
Musical Activism
Current Trends in Australian Music
New Australian Music for Clarinet
Carrollian Musical Processes

concert repertoire | lecture/demo topics | Dunlop & Wesley-Smith bios | pics | top of page

e-mail Ros | e-mail Martin | London review 1 | London review 2 | schedule


schedule: [grab a slot!]
Mon Sept 22 depart Australia
Tues Sept 23 concert, Bowling Green State University, Ohio
Wed Sept 24
Thurs Sept 25 concert (evening), University of Illinois, North Chicago
Fri Sept 26 festival, Community College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas
Sat Sept 27 festival, Community College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas
Sun Sept 28 festival, Community College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas
Mon Sept 29
Tues Sept 30
Wed Oct 1 concert, University of Santa Clara, Santa Clara, California
Thurs Oct 2 concert, Palomar College, near San Diego
Fri Oct 3 concert, Music at Founders Hall, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito, Solana Beach CA
Sat Oct 4 concert, California State University, Los Angeles
Sun Oct 5
Mon Oct 6 concert, School of Music, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana
Tues Oct 7 workshop & master class, School of Music, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana
Wed Oct 8 concert, Radford College, Virginia
Thurs Oct 9
Fri Oct 10 return to Australia


concert repertoire | lecture/demo topics | Dunlop & Wesley-Smith bios | pics | top of page

e-mail Ros | e-mail Martin | Ros's home page | Martin's home page

London review 1 | London review 2 | schedule


TEKEE TOKEE TOMAK

Australian Multi-Media Works
February 6, 2003
St Cyprian's Church, London NW1

reviewed by David Morris in Clarinet & Saxophone, London, Spring 2003


My diary tells me that I had a clarinet lesson on Monday 20th May last year. Strangely, it neglects to mention that on that same day, the people of East Timor gained their independence, dollowing 24 years of Indonesian occupation. This British Music Information Centre-supported concert in St Cyprian's Church was part of a tour by Ros Dunlop and Martin Wesley-Smith (the Tekee Tokee Tomak Tour) to raise awareness of the struggle of East Timor to recover from its recent history of seemingly often brutal oppression.

In another world, the fine golden screen at St Cyprian's provided a vivid backdrop for this multi-media programme. Before it stood a large screen of a different kind flanked by speakers on tall stands, and a modest projection and mixing desk set between the two front rows of the audience.

The evening opened with Gerard Brophy's Iza, a short but vigorous and warming duet for bass clarinets, performed by Natascha Briger and Ros Dunlop. Both players immediately established their proficiency, though throughout the evening it was the legato lines that fared best and sometimes a little of the rhythmic punch was lost to the big acoustic.

Down to business, however, and next was X by Martin Wesley-Smith. This was the first of several of his multi-media works, comprising slides, tape and clarinet. Lest there be any confusion, the slide show was not of the 'Could we have the next one, please Geoff' school, but a compelling sequence of images fading into one another, colours and textures constantly on the move, all under the control of the composer and his Macintosh. The tape merged broadcast sound bites with choral passages and electronic effects, big noise with jaunty instrumental numbers, all synchronised with the visual images. Over the top was Ros Dunlop's live clarinet. "X" refers to the resistance leader Xanana Gusmão, imprisoned in 1999 while the Indonesian military withdrew from East Timor. The images were brutal. So was the music, though the screaming clarinet might have benefited from some amplification to match the volume of the tape and heighten the anguish in the climactic passages. However, in quieter parts, Ros Dunlop's melancholy lines were serene.

Later came Wesley-Smith's short epic Welcome to the Hotel Turismo, in a similar format, but now observing the occupation of East Timor from the viewpoint of the eponymous hotel, still standing after all these years. No winds, just a cello and CD-ROM of sound bites and song, with a catchy refrain to rival anything by Don Henley. Despite the subject, the work had an easy flow and structure and Rachel Scott discharged the simultaneous vocal and amplified cello parts with passion and to great effect.

The item between these two was another worry given Amnesty International's past features on Central America. But the programmers were merciful and Stephen Ingham's Panama turned out to be a take on an old jazz standard, for clarinet, bass clarinet and a CD-ROM that provided a virtual jazz rhythm section to get the audience tapping along, if occasionally on the wrong beat.

The second half started in bright style with Tekee Tokee Tomak for clarinet and CD-ROM, Martin Wesley-Smith's portrayal of post-independence East Timor, full of smiling people and beautiful landscapes. For the next piece, the positive mood grabbed an attractive ideal and the two danced shoulder to shoulder in Dave Smith's snappily-titled Mitchell Principles and Laws on Central Albania, for two clarinets. The Mitchell in question appeared to be Ian, past Clarinet and Saxophone Society Chairman, who had premiered it, but his Principles were not obvious in this alternately angular and glissando-ridden romp. However, Natascha Briger and Ros Dunlop communicated the mood well here.

With Ros Dunlop back on bass clarinet and Martin Wesley-Smith on the CD-ROM, the evening was brought to a close with Merry-Go-Round, his treatment of contemporary Afghanistan. More scenes passed rapidly before us, including children and men having naive fun aboard a small home-made merry-go-round. This, we were told, was an allegory for the repeated invasions suffered by the people of Afghanistan, but it worked most powerfully as a striking reinforcement of common humanity.

In a multi-media show, attention is necessarily shared amongst the components. Music communicates, but to achieve a message as strong and specific as this, the various media components were tightly harnessed in support of the central theme. The clarinet as political blunt instrument. Placing the solo players beside a large bright screen, further from the audience and beyond the mixing console, visually reinforced the supporting nature of their role. However, with occasional balance problems against the tape at the climaxes and a big acoustic to fill, perhaps the clarinet writing didn't always get the attention it deserved. It would certainly have been more interesting to hear the clarinet lines more amplified, and perhaps for the instrumentalists to have been further forward.

Overall, the apolitical works set the human rights issues in perhaps greater relief, and ensured there was plenty of variation in the programme. The subject matter was often hard-hitting and it is unlikely anyone left the church unmoved, though not necessarily for musical reasons. "Tekee Tokee Tomak" apparently means something like "Let's all get together", and it was a refreshing experience to see our instrument used in support of such worldly issues.


TEKEE TOKEE TOMAK

February 6, 2003
St Cyprian's Church, London NW1

reviewed by Carmel Budiardjo


It was a pleasant surprise to hear that Martin Wesley-Smith was in town and would be presenting a concert of his music much of which is dedicated to East Timor.

The name rings bells. The Wesley-Smith family has such a long association with East Timor. Rob is an old friend, an activist like myself who went the long haul for East Timor from obscurity in the 1970s to stunning success and international recognition more than two decades later. But I still had to find out what his composer brother was all about, and here at last was the opportunity.

The venue of the concert was a church in north London and the performers were two clarinetists and a cellist, with Martin busily pressing buttons on a video machine. An unusual combination, something quite new in artistic presentation. It was good too to see quite a crowd of East Timorese in the audience, for this novel experience.

The concert bore the name Tekee, Tokee, Tomak, a Tetum phrase meaning 'Let's all get together'. Yes, indeed!

Martin is a composer of considerable talent and versatility who has hit on the idea of audio-visual presentation for many of his compositions. And what could be a more suitable medium for his music than East Timor with so many visual records of its tragic experience.

Most of the music performed was programme music, telling a story that is helped by the visual presentation. But I have to say that when I first heard his composition, Welcome to the Hotel Turismo, some months earlier without the visual presentation, performed by the first class cellist, Rachel Scott, I was immediately taken by its shape, its changing moods and colour. A sombre and serious piece, like his other work, X, celebrating the outstanding role of the East Timorese leader, Xanana Gusmao. Tekee, Tokee, Tomak is a much happier piece, in which one feels the joy and high spirits of the East Timorese, at last savouring their independence.

Included in the programme was a composition by Dave Smith, called Mitchell's Principled Based on Albanian Laws, a piece full of dance-like melodies. I happened to be sitting next to an Albanian woman who showed her delight at the composition. with themes so familiar to her. The Klezmer-like character of this piece had a particular appeal to me and provided a good balance to the programme.

The clarinetists Ros Dunlop and Natascha Briger performed superbly well and the combination of sound and visuals worked extremely well in helping to give the compositions greater depth and to appeal to a very mixed audience.

The group are to be congratulated for bringing together this event which was both artistically rewarding and a powerful tribute to the courageous people of East Timor.


concert repertoire | lecture/demo topics | Dunlop & Wesley-Smith bios | pics | top of page

enquiries: e-mail Ros | e-mail Martin | Ros's home page | Martin's home page

schedule | London review 1 | London review 2


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