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Laid in Earth

Qld Music Festival


Aug , 2009 

Composer & Artistic Director Damian Barbelar

Sarah Blasko, Daniel Rojas and Kurrawong Ensemble, Hope Vale Choir

Sound Bob Scott

Video Tim Gruchy :

Producer Stephen Clark

Program Note : Australian authors are famous for a style of writing called magic realism. In these stories events slip just beyond normal to super-normal: from realistic to hyper-real. It can be a very subtle technique and Australian authors are very good at it. Writing in this style is in their blood. It’s the same for Australian composers. They are good at it because of the inspiration of the Australian landscape. Sometimes, in real life the natural landscapes of Australia can feel hyper-real. It can be a deeply disturbing and exhilarating experience. Far North Queensland typifies this magic realism. Nature is intoxicating and overwhelming: the heat and a sunset both can make you gasp. As inspiration for a musical work the Far North is a gift. To the outside composer observer life seems amplified. Laid in Earth is Damian Barbeler’s response to this gift of writing a piece of music about a place and for the people of that place. As a creative task Barbeler has described it as “intriguing and imposing”. After all, it isn’t easy tell the story of a people you have only just met to those same people. Barbeler has chosen therefore not to tell a particular story. Instead, a number of possible stories are told in the form of songs. Some are sung by local people in their own style, bringing their own knowledge of the Far North to the music. Other stories are glimpses of possible lives of a lonely. She is not a real character from history. She is a possible woman from history. Her songs are famous arias adapted from famous operas but radically changed, an expression of her search for simple love and companionship in the intense, overwhelming, magically real tropical landscape of the Far North. something he always expressed a keen desire for.





Laid in Earth




Stills by Shannon Goble