• Ross Edwards
  • Nura (2004)
    (for Flute and Piano)

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

Programme Note

Nura was commissioned by two Dutch musicians, the flautist Eleonore Pameijer and the pianist Marcel Worms, as part of their Six Continents project, in which composers from six continents were invited to express their feelings about their own cultural identity in an age of receding borders and globalisation.

As an Australian composer, I've always found inspiration in my own environment, and the shapes and patterns of some of its characteristic sounds have become essential elements of my musical language. This strong association with place has allowed the music to relate to the wider world without being swallowed up by it, and for me, it's what gives it meaning.

Nura means 'place' or 'country' in a language spoken by people living in the area that is now Sydney for many thousands of years before they were dispossessed by British settlers in the late 18th century. I live near one of Sydney Harbour's many small bays and I often work in the Blue Mountains, west of the city. In Nura I've tried to capture the stillness of mountains, arresting birdsong, mysterious insect drones and sensuous water sounds.

The work falls into three distinct sections: Wild Bird Morning, Ocean Idyll (which hints at neighbouring cultures) and Earth Dance, a celebratory maninya, or Australian dance-chant.