Gum Tree
Jon Rose

Red Earth Luminous Horizons

Unified by themes of nature, Red Earth Luminous
Horizons highlights universal concepts through the shared language of instrumental chamber music by First Nations composers alongside western heavyweights.

The live recordings for this album were made at the fifth Pantopia Festival in Berlin, where Ensemble Offspring were guests.

Ensemble Offspring @ Pantopia Festival Vol. 5 in Berlin
© Ymusic

About the compositions

The works of First Nations composers Brenda Gifford and Nardi Simpson represent our collective journey and remind us that we should tread lightly on Mother Earth. These important new voices in notated composition in Australia remind us that we do note create music or art in a vacuum and especially for these composers, who have so many thousands of years of culture preceding them, culture knowledge and dreaming stories are key to inspiration and creativity.


The music of recently departed Finnish legend Kaija Saariaho has been heard all over the globe, touching the hearts and minds of performers and audiences alike. In celebration of her widespread influence and legacy Kaija Saariaho's seminal works featuring cello are included in this disc. In Sept Papillon, butterflies are conjured and in Oi Kuu. the moon in the night sky.


Jon Rose and Hollis Taylor’s unique output of works for recorded Pied Butcher Bird and instruments have been developed with Ensemble Offspring’s musicians over the last few years. The two works featured here deal with the birds song in different ways - in Araluen the clarinet and vibraphone accompany the bird with short harmonic interjections and in Bowen: Santa Barbara, joined by special guest recorder virtuoso, Susanne Fröhlich the instrumentalists become birds waxing lyrical with each other.


Gerard Brophy’s work brings to sonic life the slow movements of the flamingo with jazzy harmonies from the vibraphone and almost improvisatory understated melodies from the bass clarinet and alto flute.


And Felicity Wilcox’s People of this Place combines the ancient history of Aboriginal culture around Djubagali (the area around the Sydney Opera House at Bennelong Point and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music) melding those more traditional sound worlds with the Western Classical influences one hears coming out of the Sydney Conservatorium on a hot Sydney day.

Nardi Simpson
© Ymusic

Participating artists

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