• Ross Edwards
  • White Ghost Dancing (1999)

  • Wise Music G. Schirmer Australia Pty Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Symphony Australia for performance by Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra with funds provided by Australia Council.

  • 1+pic.1.0+bb-cl+bcl.1+cbn/0+f-hn.0+bb-tpt.1.0/timp.perc/pf.hp/str
  • 10 min

Programme Note

As I composed White Ghost Dancing, the concept of a white ghost came to symbolize non-indigenous Australia’s innate Aboriginality - its capacity to transform and heal itself through spiritual connectedness with the earth.

I believe that music, which has enormous therapeutic properties and, for me, a close relationship with ritual - and especially dance - is destined to make an important contribution to this transformation and healing. Hence the title.

Typical of my maninya (dance/chant pieces), White Ghost Dancing is a compact mosaic of unconsciously processed shapes and patterns from the natural world: fragments of birdsong, insect and frog rhythms, as well as fleeting references to other works of mine and fusions of Aboriginal and Gregorian chant.

White Ghost Dancing was commissioned by Symphony Australia, with assistance from the Australia Council, especially for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and its conductor, David Porcelijn, to whom it is dedicated.

Ross Edwards