1985 Music


Solo instrument

For percussion

Windstreams was commissioned and premiered by percussionist, Michael Askill with funding from the Music Board of the Australia Council.

About the work

I wrote Windstreams in Green Valley, south of Sydney, while watching the movement of trees in a strong wind storm.


Windstreams is scored for: 8 drums (tomtoms and rototoms), bass drum, low timpani, bell tree, 4 suspended cymbals, tamtam, glockenspiel, vibraphone, tubular bells, 5 temple blocks and 2 wood blocks.

Score and recording

Buy or borrow the score from SOUNZ.

Windstreams — SOUNZ

RNZ Concert recorded Windstreams in 1994.

Windstreams — audio


[Gillian Whitehead] has the ability to focus on the resonance of sounds, giving them an intense aftertaste. She makes you listen to the echo more than the event, a dangerous strategy for anyone without her acute sensitivity to timbre.

— Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald 23 April 1987

Wind stream (sic) is one of those exquisitely fragile soundscapes which could be a disaster in less skilled and sensitive hands than those of Michael Askill. Surrounded by more than a dozen percussion instruments, he built fragments of sound into a kind of aural tapestry that was both varied and delicate.

— Jill Sykes, Sydney Morning Herald

Tongues, swords, keys

Vocal duets and ensembles, Voice and instrumental ensemble

For 8 solo voices and 4 percussion

Text devised by Randolph Stow

Tongues, swords, keys was commissioned by The Song Company with funding from the Music Board of the Australia Council. They, together with percussion ensemble Synergy, gave the first performance in September 1987 at the Verbrugghen Hall at Sydney Conservatorium.

About the work

The multilingual text explores ideas of coming together and parting — perhaps of tribes, or of nations, or of individuals. At times the work is ritualistic in character.


The work is scored for 2 sopranos, 2 altos, 2 tenors, 2 basses and percussion.


Buy or borrow the hand-written score from SOUNZ.

Tongues, swords, keys — SOUNZ

Buy or borrow a typeset score from the Australian Music Centre.

Tongues, swords, keys — AMC