In 1979 I contributed a flute duo to a garland of miniatures by Australian composers in celebration of Peter Sculthorpe’s 50th birthday. A revised and expanded version of this duo was incorporated into Ecstatic Dances (1990), which I composed for the flautist Geoffrey Collins.
Ecstatic Dance has special significance for me as the earliest manifestation of my so-called maninya style, the extrovert antithesis of the contemplative music I had been writing in the 1970s. Radiant and insistently melodic to befit its celebratory function, it exists today in many different arrangements, including several for string duo, and as the finale of Chorale and Ecstatic Dance for string quartet, string orchestra and full orchestra. In 2013 I made a special orchestral version for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra to record in volume 13 of the Hush collection, a series of CDs put out by the Hush Music Foundation, whose purpose is to produce music designed to help children and parents through stressful medical procedures. Sales of the CD also help raise money for Australian Children’s Hospitals.