SPIRIT COUNTRY BY DINDY VAUGHAN
DANDENONG RANGES, STRING QUARTET NO. 1
Six Movements, Early Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer, Autumn and Winter
The moods of the Dandenong Ranges are amazingly varied. At times they are near, familiar, softly blue, at other times removed, distant in mist. On a grey day they can be foreboding, ominously approaching, dark and brooding - and there is a special time in special light when they glow in transparent beauty of luminous violet. In times of bushfire their hulking frames are huge, threatening, like prehistoric monsters.
To walk with the Dandenongs is a different world.
Movement 1: Early Spring
Silent stillness. Earth begins to shimmer with ripples of growth, insects stirring; an ancient land, far older than human memory, is waking. Spirit comes.
Movement 2: Late Spring
Daily pulse quickens: sap flows, buds form, colour spills and flows. Leaves turn to catch sun's food, birds dive and twist, reptiles dart, insects sing.
Movement 3: Early Summer
Heat. Suspension. Enervation. Waiting for?
Movement 4: Late Summer
Fear. Wind capricious. Leaves droop, depleted. Dust blows. Burning sun. Smoke? Heart quickens, feet pound....this way?....that way?....Which way? Sky grey, soft ash falls. On edge. Alert. Ancient monsters stride the earth once more.
Movement 5: Autumn
Benediction: Golden light, warm, embracing. Time in suspension, enfolding. Peace: When an afternoon lasts forever.
Movement 6: Winter
Spirit. Absorbing life energy back to its source, back into the rocks, back into the earth, back into the vast bodies of the great trees; mist, air, as still as eternity. Unknowable. Eternally Present.
Performed by the Tailem Quartet: Rachel Homburg, James Steedman, Merewyn Bramble and Sharon Draper
THE WIMMERA QUARTET
Like much of Dindy's work, this Quartet is land-centred.
Movement 1: Horsham Plains Andante
Tranquility and translucence, the broad scope of the overarching sky: the music is made to shimmer and shine, but very gently.
Movement 2: Nhill to Dimboola Allegretto
Conflicting elements: Spirit world is present, but not always accessible to human perception. There is yearning and striving for that world; descending quaver phrases are a lamentation for the diaspora of the Aboriginal people. An awakening; a brief union of temporal with eternal Spirit.
Movement 3: Little Desert Spiccato
Deceptively straightforward, simple, the spirite of Little Desert lead on in a dance that suddenly finds one lost...........All tracks look the same, all sand dunes look like the last one, all location dissolved.............not malevolent, but not to be trusted.
Movement 4: The Wimmera in Flood Furioso
A mighty torrent overpowers all: brings death, brings life, brings despair and hope in an engulfing rage of energy and regeneration
Performed by Mardi McSullea (flute) with members of the Flinders Quartet, Erica Kennedy (Violin), Helen Ireland (Viola) and Zoe Knighton (Cello).
SONATA NO. 1 Tharawal Country, Spirit Country
Dindy was born, and grew up, in Tharawal country, on the South Coast of New South Wales. Sonata No. 1 was written from intense spiritual involvement with the bush that closely surrounded the family home and the tiny one=teacher school, and from the sounds, vibrant atmosphere, and at times intense silence impinging as a living presence.
Sadness at the absence of Aboriginal people, Tharawal people, was a continual childhood undercurrent. Dindy's youngest brother scoured the bush incessantly, always hopeful that he would meet them; Dindy knew they had gone. The beautiful carvings remaining in the centre of the town were a perpetual reminder, a "pain in the heart".
Abundance of life, irreverent vitality, huge energy of the Eternal Present bursts out with laughter, promise of growth, and renewal, as an ever present reality.
Mariana Green - Violin
Michael Crisp - Piano
released January 1, 2010