MULTI INSTR

Love of the Land     10’43     "It’s who I am and what I am” Ray has worked the land his whole life, never been off the farm and is deeply connected to it. It seems to hold a profound meaning for him.

Portrait Of Ray

An instrumental composition for choir, solo voice,strings, tuned percussion piano , and computer


Love of Beatrice     9’01     “Part of my life” When he talked about his late wife Beatrice, he spoke with the same adoration as he had done about the land and it was sometimes difficult to know which of these he was referring to.

Getting Old      5’29     “ I can do the work but in slow motion” Ray knew he was getting old but he was quick to point out how happy he was to be on the farm, despite his age and the added difficulties of dealing with a prolonged drought.

Facing death       6’50     “i have no worries about that at all” When he spoke of death, he was very matter of fact. It seemed that his oneness with the land gave him an insight, an acceptance and fearless attitude towards death. Death wasn't remarkable or dramatic: like the nature that surrounded him, it was a normal everyday event. And in that truth there was a kind of beauty...

In 2009 I met Ray, an 86 year-old cattle farmer living deep in the rural heartlands of New South Wales, Australia. A meeting that was to inspire this instrumental portrait of this extraordiary man

Ray is an ordinary man with an extraordinarily accepting take on life. Unassuming, passionate, hard working and contented. He faces death with little fear and complete acceptance, someone with a positive spirit, an unwitting and solid philosophy and a great love of life. A great man and a true inspiration.

The Music

I always had in mind the ambitious idea that this piece would be performed by a large group of musicians, 100+ ,  including a choir. I recorded alone in the studio over many months, hating it one minute and loving it another trying to sustain my belief in the project. I was trying to create  a kind of cinematic soundscape, an atmosphere that was reflective of the delicate inter -connectedness of the natural world and of the world Ray was such a part of.  Ray’s spoken voice is superimposed over this in a patchwork of sound bites and anecdotes that build to create an impression of the man and his passion for life.

a life less ordinary