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