Here is the first performance of Wind Farm Music Dedicated to Tony Abbott

And here is another:

Lots more to follow, I hope

The score and parts are available, free of charge, here:

I recently commissioned Sydney-based composer Lyle Chan to write a short piece for piano trio.

We were chatting at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.  I thought about commissioning him to write something.  Normally  when I commission a piece, I give the composer a completely free hand. But for the first time, I had very specific requirements: I wanted a short piece of music for piano, violin and cello, which must contain quotes from famous pieces of classical music, and  must be called “Wind Farm Music, Dedicated to Tony Abbott”.
Lyle completed the piece within a week, and  wrote the following epigraph to the score:

“This music is a vision of happy wind turbines, high in the air, soaking up the sunshine, catching fragments of music that rise into the sky after it leaves the ears of the people who listen to them. The music tangles up in their airfoils and the turbines are laughing, delighted. “

From the windmills of the middle ages to the first electricity producing turbine in the 19th century, human beings have ground grain and pumped water with wind power. This music – the music of Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Schubert, Rossini – was around at that time, and the music is still here today, reminding us that it witnessed humans who knew a kinder and more loving way of fulfilling its needs.

Political?  Of course.  There is a long and honourable tradition of art in service of political protest. That’s why politicians are a bit jumpy about funding the arts.
This music is intended to counter the absurd idea that wind farms are “ugly”; a reminder that harnessing the wind to help save the planet is a fine thing.  It is a reminder of our obligation to future generations

Lyle and I hope that piano trios around Australia will perform the piece (just the right length and tone for an encore).  We encourage them to record it and put it up on YouTube.  We want everyone to hear it.

The piece is subtitled “A quodlibet for piano trio”. A quodlibet is a musical work made up of fragments of other music. Great composers throughout history wrote them, including famous examples by Bach and Brahms.

Wind Farm Music Dedicated to Tony Abbott will have its world premiere by Seraphim Trio at 12.30 on Wed 19 Aug 2015, at the State Library of Victoria.

Wind Farm Music Dedicated to Tony Abbott is available online.

You can download the score, parts and a digital playback from this folder:

Performances here and here:

Lots more to follow, I hope