J. Simon van der Walt

for didgeridoo and wind orchestra

pic, 2 fl, ob, 3 cl, cl in e flat, b-cl, bn, 2 a-sax, t-sax, bar-sax, 3 trp, 2 hn, 2 trb, b-trb, euph, 2 tuba, 2perc)

duration: 8 minutes

This was written for a group in Switzerland, to play at a concert on 1/1/2000; they suggested the interesting and unusual combination of didgeridoo and symphonic wind band. Because of the nature of the occason, I decided to include a text in the piece, in a spirit of hope for the new millenium. It is taken from the Universal Declaration of Human rights;

'All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.'

The piece itself is quite straightforward, funky even; the didge is mainly used to set up rhythms which propel the piece along. Hidden under the hood are some deliberate modernist touches, including, unusually for me, some serialism.

J. Simon van der Walt is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and teacher, living and working in Scotland. His work ranges from the conventional to the experimental, by way of jazz, gamelan, electronics, theatre, and instrument building. Best known as a salsa-jazz trumpet player, Simon has also been known to perform on the trombone, didgeridoo, guitar, and various kinds of world percussion. He teaches sound recording and composition at Stevenson College, Edinburgh, and co-directs the new music group Invention Ensemble. Oh, and in his spare time he composes, plays music, and teaches.

Back to shortlist.