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Saturday morning's concert was devoted to The Carnival of the Animals, with a popular local radio announcer reading Michael Leunig's Australianised version of the text. The 'Governor's Gala Concert' in Civic Theatre in the evening opened with Ross Edwards' meditative Tyalgum Mantras, performed in the round by an extended ensemble. Brahms, Shostakovich and Strauss completed the programme.

Ross Edwards. Photo © Bridget Eliot
Ross Edwards. Photo © Bridget Eliot

At 10.00 on Sunday morning Ross Edwards, composer in residence to the festival and one of Australia's most respected composers, gave a small audience an illustrated musical autobiography -- his journey from modernism into quietist, nature-inspired pieces and onwards to the development of his more exuberant 'maninya' dance/chant style. I have long enjoyed his music (see my Red Earth and Mirrors of Fire reviews, for instance) and enjoyed the opportunity to know more of the person behind it but the concert immediately afterwards imposed a strict limit on the time available for his talk.

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Copyright © 3 July 2006 Malcolm Tattersall, Townsville, Australia


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