2005 Music

Piano Trio

Chamber ensemble (2-7 players)

For violin, cello and piano

Piano Trio was commissioned by, and is dedicated to, the members of the NZTrio — Justine Cormack (violin), Ashley Brown (cello) and Sarah Watkins (cello). Its composition was funded by Creative New Zealand.

About the work

One winter morning, a short walk from the marae at Waihi, on the southern shore of Lake Taupo, I stood on the shore to watch the sun rise. Behind me, a waterfall led to a small stream that flowed into the lake, imposing its own patterns on those of the lake. The water was uniformly grey, but as the sun rose, for a moment the tops of the ripples were golden, with darker valleys between, before the whole area was flooded with light.

The ideas behind Piano Trio have to do with the changing perspectives of patterns in water — in the bubbling of streams, the tumble of a waterfall, in the spiralling eddies where stream meets lake at sunrise.

In the opening movement, a group of short themes and ideas initially form a mosaic-like section, which recurs in developed and varied forms around more reflective passages. The second movement reverses the first, in that slow, sustained sections are interrupted by more energetic material, and the final movement draws all the previous ideas together.

Score and recording

The score of Piano Trio has been published by Wai-te-ata Music Press.

Piano Trio — publication

NZTrio has recorded this work for the Rattle label.

Bright tide moving between — CD

Almost an island

Solo voice

For soprano and piano

Haiku by the Otago Peninsula writing group

The first performance of Almost an island was given by Ana Good (soprano) and Joyce Whitehead (piano) on 21 March 2007 at a reunion of Otago University Mozart Fellows in Dunedin.

About the work

Almost an Island, a phrase which refers to the Otago Peninsula, was written as a wedding present for my then neighbours, Breffni and Dave.

The poets are Eleanor Koch, Kay Sinclair, Fran Bolgar, my sister Joyce Whitehead and me.

Scores and recordings

Buy or borrow the score from SOUNZ. An archival recording of the first performance can also be borrowed from SOUNZ.

Almost an island — SOUNZ

Mozart Fellows Concert 2007 Vol. 1 — CD