Australian by birth but a longtime resident of Great Britain, David Lumsdaine (b.1931) is central to both Australian and British modernism. During the early 1970s Australian musical modernism was at its height. Lumsdaine and his Australian contemporaries were engaged with practices from multiple places, producing music that displays the attributes of their disparate influences; in so doing they formed a new conception of what it meant to be an Australian composer. The period is similarly important in Britain, for it saw the rise to prominence of composers such as Birtwistle, Davies, Goehr, Gilbert, Wood, Cardew and many others who were Lumsdaine's contemporaries, colleagues and friends. Hooper presents here a series of analyses of Lumsdaine's compositions, focusing on works written between 1966 and 1980. At the early end of this period is Kelly Ground, for solo piano. One of Lumsdaine's first acknowledged works, Kelly Ground connects explicitly with the music of high modernism, employing ideas about temporality as espoused by Ligeti, Stockhausen and Boulez, to form a new ritual for the (now mythical) Australian outlaw Ned Kelly. Hooper places Lumsdaine's music in the context of Australian and British avant-gardes, and reveals its elegance, lyricism and technical virtuosity.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; David Lumsdaine's Kelly Ground; 'I would love to know how it all goes together' or 'free as a bird': improvisatory flights, indeterminacy, and two works by David Lumsdaine; Labyrinths and journeys; Hagoromo - the melody of a bell | the harmony of a flute; David Lumsdaine, modernism and Bach: Ruhe sanfte, sanfte ruh' and Mandala 3; Reconfigurations in the fracture of Lumsdaine's Cambewarra: re-experiencing a territory; Postscript; Bibliography; Discography; Index.
... the book is constantly illuminating and a lasting contribution to the literature on a composer of fine integrity and sensibility... an important and noteworthy publication.' Tempo 'For me [chapter 3] is the most satisfying of the book as it problematises the continuum of the determinate [...] and indeterminate [...] compositional practice... Hooper is at his best when he is grappling with a work he admits he is not aesthetically comfortable with.' Music Forum