University of Tasmania

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A performer's interpretation of Andrew Ford's Tales of the Supernatural

posted on 2023-05-27, 08:24 authored by Joughin, PF
Australian composer Andrew Ford (1957-) is well known within Australia as a Radio presenter for the ABC, and perhaps lesser known as a composer. He has a catalogue of over 160 works including a large number of commissions which span many different styles and orchestrations and cover a range of subjects including dramatic, topical, fanciful and historical. His compositions range from extremely atonal to tonal. They vary in difficulty, but remain accessible to the ear and have been performed by some of Australia's most prominent artists. This research explores one specific piece/ Tales of the Supernatural composed in 2002. This set of folk songs for voice and string quartet has been performed only a small number of times, each time with a female singer. Given Ford's propensity for clarity in intention, I have chosen to explore the possibility and implications of the piece being performed by male voice, and also evaluate his use of the texts that comprise the cycle and the way he sets them to music. The cycle is a collection of six folk tales, one of which is repeated to bring the cycle to a close. I have concentrated on each of the tales as they are set within the cycle, looking at their thematic content, devices and motives used and overall effect as a subset ofthe whole cycle. In studying the characteristics of Ford's work, I also outline my interpretation ofthis work and the outcomes for both myself as singer, and the quartet. Through this examination and evaluation, this research raises awareness of one of Andrew Ford's compositions and broadens the performance opportunities for the work by its inclusion in repertoire for male medium to low voice.


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