1973 Music


Voice and instrumental ensemble

For mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, violin/viola, cello, guitar, harpsichord, piano and percussion

Texts by Jacopone da Rodi, CK Norvid and William Blake

Marduk was commissioned by The Fires of London with funding from the Arts Council of Great Britain. It was premiered by them at Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank, London in 1973.

About the work

I devised Marduk initially as a dance-drama exploring the relationship between the divine and humankind, with 4 huge masked figures on stilts — possibly atua — moving slowly in ritualistic patterns while a ‘human’ figure tried to interact with them.

I can’t remember why, but in the end it was performed as a cantata, focusing on the vocal parts of the score, which has texts in Italian by Jacapone da Todi, Polish by CK Norvid, a chant based on the 50 names of Marduk, the god-king of the city of Babylon, and English by William Blake.


The score of this work is not available.

Riddles 2

Voice and instrumental ensemble

5 songs for voice and piano

Text by Bill Manhire

The first performance of Riddles 2 was given by Jane Manning (soprano) and Margaret Nielsen (piano) on 31 March 1978 at Victoria University of Wellington.

About the work

The New Zealand poet, Bill Manhire, wrote a series of poems based on the Anglo-Saxon riddle form, specifically for setting to music, and I’ve used 5 of these in this cycle. Although there are suggested answers to the riddles, the poet prefers that the answers come from the imagination of the listener.

Score and recording

A score, donated by Price Milburn Music, is in the Alexander Turnbull Library.

Riddles 2 — ATL

RNZ Concert recorded the premiere performance.

Riddles 2 — audio