• Ross Edwards
  • White Cockatoo Spirit Dance (2000)
    (for String Quartet)

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

Programme Note

White Cockatoo Spirit Dance has all the characteristics of a maninya, or dance chant. Ross Edwards coined the word maninya to denote the chant-like quality of one strand of his music, a unique and highly characteristic form which results from the subtly varied repetition of material over a static harmonic basis in a lively tempo. 

He has distilled structural material from the natural environment. "For years I have found the ecstatic and mysterious sound-tapestry of the insect chorus in the heat of the Australian summer to be a particularly fertile source of inspiration." 

Vibrant, captivating, life-affirming, and virtuosic, White Cockatoo Spirit Dance is a spontaneous melodic outpouring whose obsessive rhythms appear to have been ritualised from nature. (Edwards claims to have been influenced particularly by the sounds of insects).

It also exists as a viola solo from which it has been adapted for violin by the composer, who has also arranged it for string quartet. 

This arrangement for string quartet of my White Cockatoo Spirit Dance was especially commissioned by Barbara Schmidt, who has dedicated it as follows: "To my gorgeous husband Peter, in honour of your 40th birthday...all my love, Barbara."