Voice and instrumental ensemble

For mezzo-soprano, piano and bassoon

Poems by Glenn Colquhoun

The first performance of Camelot was given by Janet Roddick (soprano), Emma Sayers (piano) and Ben Hoadley (bassoon) at St Paul’s Cathedral, Dunedin on 16 October 2008.

About the work

Camelot, a collaboration between Glenn Colquhoun and me, is a response to a visit by 10 artists on the Breaksea Girl, skippered by Lance Shaw and Ruth Dalley, to Dusky and Doubtful Sounds in Fiordland, and particularly to a trip up Camelot, the river that flows into Gaer Arm in Doubtful Sound.

Glenn’s poems, cryptic and spare, relate to old Chinese poetic forms, and the cycle traces the poet’s travelling up the river, and, changed by what he learns, his return to the open water. The titles of the poems draw on imagery very apparent on this journey.

One thing that was made very apparent on that journey was the extent of the degradation of the environment, because of the depredations of deer, goats, rats, possums and other pests, which have made the forest a silent place, where biodiversity is acutely threatened.

Both the performances and the journey to the sounds were devised as a fundraiser by the Caselberg Trust, which is raising money to purchase the Broad Bay house of Anna and John Caselberg, for use as an artist’s residence.

Camelot is dedicated to Ruth Dalley and Lance Shaw.

Score and recordings

Borrow the score from SOUNZ, or borrow or buy a recording.

Camelot — SOUNZ

Arapatiki — CD

Moon, tides and shoreline — CD and book