The Goddess Returns
Scored for voice, string quartet and percussion (ghattam)
The Goddess Returns was the centerpiece of a large multi-media work I composed, of the same name, for an Elektra String Quartet performance project in 1999
Performed by: Antigone Foster, vocals
Elektra String Quartet - Mirka Rozmus and Romano Crivici, violins; Rudi Crivici, viola; Markus Hartstein, cello
Interview with Andrew Ford
-ABC Radio national
composer & performer
Flat Earth - Octet
Didjeridu, string quartet, and percussion x 3
Flat Earth - Orchestral
Didjeridu, strings, double winds, Tpt x 2, Hrns x 2,
and percussion x 4
"....This exciting work features shifting rhythms, textures and musical mirages that weave around the didjeridu with a palpable sense of drama...."
Lisa MacKinney Limelight Magazine, July 2018
Flat Earth - Octet, was a work specifically written to provide an opportunity for collaboration between Mark Atkins and the Elektra String Quartet in 1996. I have, over the years, revised and developed some of the ideas in the work. It now stands complete, and, as an octet, has been recorded with an Australia Council grant. It has recently been released on ABC Classic.
However, as I prepared the octet for publication, I started to hear more colours and a need to expand and develop it in ways that called for an orchestra...
And so it is done, Flat Earth - Orchestral. A few sections changed in terms of metre, so as to make it easier to conduct, an extra solo for the didjeridu. Apart from that, it is much the same structurally as the version for Octet.
Flat Earth provided me with an opportunity to explore and express something of my own personal relationship with the vast Australian outback, and its original inhabitants and culture, and as such, came to be a core work in the Elektra String Quartet repertoire for quite a few years.
I would like to thank and acknowledge Mark Atkins, from whom, over many years of working together I have learned so much about the didjeridu and its generally unknown potential as an instrument.
listen to Flat Earth - Octet, 2016 (complete)
Romano & Mark improvisation
Romano & Mark play the Juan Sebastian Jazz Club, Caracas, Venezuela, 1999
As Old Men See It .... 17:00
Didjeridu, string quartet & percussion x 2
“…an interactive video projection show, with drawings, photos, and video footage. .... Crivici’s music has roots in pop, contemporary classical, and native Australian sources, and features simple, haunting, melodic patterns. He has his own distinctive sound, and uses the amplified strings in an original way."
15th March, 2000, Musical America
This work was originally composed (Aug, 98) for an Elektra String Quartet performance project entitled Interstellar Song Cycle, as an instrumental work for didjeridu, string quartet (with loops) and percussion.
It later metamorphosed into a work for soprano, quartet, didje and percussion, with performed at the Syd Opera House in 1998. Riding a technological wave in those headily idealistic and carefree days, but without adequate funding, rehearsal time, tech support, this approach to performing proved too disheartening, and we let it go, and so too the repertoire that went with it.
This reworked edition, (2019) now renamed and re-imagined as As Old Men See It... is an attempt to give life to what I think was an idea that had some potential.
The Nameless One 15:00
Didjeridu & string quartet with looping device -or Double String Ouartet with Double Bass
“An original blend of ancient and contemporary sounds and technologies…the audience was spellbound.”
Mar del Plata, Argentina; El Capital, 1999
Mirka Rozmus & Romano Crivici; violins
Rudolf Crivici: viola, Marcus Hartstein; cello,
Blair Greenberg; didjeridu. 16th March, 1999
The Nameless One was originally recorded, and then performed with didjeridu, string quartet and looping device for and Elektra String Quartet tour of South America and Europe in 1999. From the rough sketch I wrote a few weeks before we recorded it and left, I have since extended and developed it, including a new 'prelude'.
Gone are the days when ensembles pursued the excitements and (qualified) amazing possibilities afforded by the new technologies of looping and electronics in medium of the String Quartet, arguably one of the most conservative musical forms/medium in the present era. I say this not even cynically, in many respects I still consider it to be one of the most perfect and complete combo's that I can think of, notwithstanding the many amazing things one can do with the aforementioned technologies; and we did!
Nevertheless, there is no point in me writing a score for such a thing (as I did in the past for a number of other, utterly unperformed works of mine for similar combinations). Far more useful, and practical to use what limited time and energy I have into 'arranging' it, and developing it in terms of double string quartet with double bass, given the extreme unlikelihood of it ever being performed anyway.
RC, 1st Sept, 2020 -Byron Bay
Didjeridu, string quintet, & perc x 3
“…a sampler…multi-layered textures of rhythm and sounds,…moving between tranquillity and dynamic, powerful playing…they mesmerised the entire audience.”
New Music Festival: Wurzburg, Germany. Der Main Post, 1999
…journeys, coming and going - even in the simple passing of time……yet finding oneself at home , everywhere……a grateful heart, a joyous land, the changing colours of distant haze…suddenly it was all so simple!
Haze was originally composed in 2000, but never performed or recorded in its entirety. It was developed from a quick and simple sketch I wrote for the Elektra String Quartet, prior to a tour of South America and Europe in 1999.
It was to be recorded by Elektra for its Flat Earth album (commissioned by ABC Classics) but, running out of time and space during the recording sessions, (22nd Sept, 2000) we ended up recording a very truncated version. As such the recording included here didn't really represent the 'real' version even at the time; even less so now, as I have completely rewritten and revised the work altogether (2020).
The excerpt opens with a didjeridu solo, introducing, or "calling", as it were, the joyous energy of the piece to come. Mark and I worked together to record two versions in the studio. Listening back, we couldn't decide which take to use; "let's superimpose them and use them both" I said -an inspired decision!
The discerning listener may also notice Mark doing some very unexpected, creative, and to popular understanding, un-didjeridu like things; for example, playing a bass line in unison with the cello, leaping melodically between intervals of the 10th, 5th and the octave.
Original sketch: 15/3/99, revision - September 2000
Colours of Haze 40:00
Didjeridu, string quintet, piano & percussion x 2
Colours of Haze, though incomplete is included here, if for nothing else, as a reminder to me to try and one day complete it. Based on material from the earlier work Haze, it is now awfully long, and very different .... maybe one day, or another life...... (31st Oct, 2020)
The Open Sky 6:30
Sax, Viola, Didjeridu, piano, jazz bass, Vibes & Percussion (x2). Sept, 2020
(Pardon the quality of the recording; given it is a recent revision, I can only include a crappy synth recording!)
But hey, things are changing; now my spirit moves... -from Yamatji Man (text by RC)
This work was originally composed as part of a much larger collaborative project with didjeridu master Mark Atkins, titled Yamatji Man (2012). A large scale multi-media music-theatre work, it was an attempt to explore and give voice to his life story as a “half-way man”, that is, someone 'walking' between two cultures.
The Open Sky, extracted, revised and renamed from it's original setting in Yamatji Man, now stands alone as a separate work in its own right. The didjeridu is now a strand, albeit an important one in the multi-cultural tapestry that contemporary Australian/World culture has, and is always, becoming.
RC, 29th Sept, 2020 -London St, Sydney