Difficulty: Advanced — Professional/1st class amateur choir
Flower Songs is a choral maninya (dance/chant). Its text consists of the botanical names (in Latin and ancient Greek) of a selection of central eastern Australian wild flowers. Sir Jonathan Mills once summarised my attitude to word setting as being “averse to texts that are philosophical, psychological, dramatic or descriptive (and) only interested in ones that allow (him) to invoke some kind of timeless spirituality in setting them to music … (His) essential vocal style, most evident in the vocal maninyas and
Flower Songs, is characterised by modified repetition of rhythmic patterns centred on drones – a sort of hypnotic incantation.” Flower Songs is dedicated to Nicholas Routley who commissioned it, with Australia Council assistance, for the Sydney Chamber Choir. The work is in two movements: the first vigorous and ecstatic; the second hazy and dream-like.