The Shadow of Mill
For cello and sub tone.
For Tristen Parr
2nd movement premiered APRA AMC Art Music Awards, 2017.
Full three movements premiered as part of Summers Nights, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne, July 2018.
"Shadow of Mill presents audiences with an open-ended reflection on the issue of settlement and racism in Australia." Eduardo Cossio, Cool Perth Nights.
This work is a reflection on the white Australia policy enacted in 1901. The title is taken from Phil Griffith’s paper “Towards White Australia: The Shadow of Mill and the spectre of slavery in the 1802 debates on Chinese Immigration” published in 2002. The peice explores the idea of this Policy, printed on paper of today, interacting with the cello: sensuously rubbed and grated against the body and strings of the instrument as a representative of the European Culture imported into Australia. But this instrument is not played as originally intended. It is detuned, struck and played with two bows, all the time underpinned by subtle 'undertones'.
The second movement was commissioned by Gabriella Smart for the APRA|AMC Art Awards in Sydney, 2017. The first and third movements were written for the Summers Night Project in 2018.
The first and third movements are on two strings, and two bows. are featured in the the second and third movement. Each colour represents a bow/string and the proportions of the lines represent the volume. Detune all strings at least a semitone (more for the top 2 strings) and not to any tempered note. A copy of the first page of The White Australia Act should be used as the piece of paper, copied on both sides. You can download it here. Each line should be played as smoothly as possible, unless marked by circular lines indicating circular bows. The dots indicate pizzicato, crosses a Bartok pizzicato and the indicates rapid bow movement, almost spasmodic. The width indicates volume, with the thinnest being the softest (very soft) and the widest being the loudest (very loud). The electronics part is indicated in opaque pink on the lower half of the score as a guide to enable the player to follow to sub tone. The electronics are embedded in the score and can be played via a mini jack out of the ipad to a sub woofer speaker (15inch minimum) on or under stage with the cellist. The score should be read in the Decibel ScorePlayer application on an iPad, available from the composer .