Paul Nolan | 9 October 2018
Responding to a commission request from chorister Ed Suttle and partner Jane, Walker fused his talent for pure atmosphere with communicating the heartbreakingly direct messages of hope in the poetry of Alice Eather.
The succinct lines of this poem urge a coming together of contrasting cultures on our island continent. An earnest plea for an understanding between original peoples and those who came by sea to settle is given a tender airing here. Eather’s inspiring words were set with clarity and power by Walker’s music and sung with thought-provoking passion by the choir. The single-line refrain ‘Yúya Karrabúra’ (Fire is Burning) gained momentum with every joyously chilling iteration from the choir.
This was a show stopper of a premiere, and surrounding it the choir and guest instrumentalists maintained the strength of communication throughout the remainder of the programme.
Shamistha de Soysa | 6 October 2018
Behold – the sea! was an exploration of music for a new age. Novel compositional devices created refreshing new soundscapes that were adventurous, yet easy on the ear. This was an unequivocal success in contemporary programming and performance. The choir, comprising some of the best of Sydney’s ensemble singers, performed with its trademark attention to technical and musical detail, brought together by the understated precision of Jonathan Grieves-Smith, conducting with a mere pencil!