26th ACL Festival and Conference in New Zealand, 2007

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8 – 16th February 2007 Wellington, New Zealand

Official ACL Festival/Conference

The Asia Pacific Festival held in Wellington in February 2007 was the 26th in a series of such festivals organised under the aegis of the Asian Composers League, an organisation established in 1973 by a group of prominent Asian composers.

It is significant that Australia and New Zealand have been members of this organisation for some years, reflecting the socio-political shift that has taken place as we reposition ourselves within the Asia-Pacific region and draw closer to our Asian neighbours.

The program recorded here was a feature concert of the Asia Pacific Festival. This sampling of Australian and New Zealand orchestral music was a way of presenting ourselves, the non-Asian members of ACL, to the many Asian guests at the festival.

We heard Asian resonances in Helen Bowater’s gamelan inspired New Year Fanfare, in Barry Conningham’s moving tribute to Toru Takemitsu (Passing), and in Julian Yu’s exquisite Future of Water. Gerard Brophy’s Republic of Dreams, with its intriguing modal melody suggested Middle Eastern models. Sophisticated responses to environment we heard in Chris Cree Brown’s Antarctic-inspired Icescape, and in Leonie Holmes’ Frond, whose curving shape suggested the Maori koru motive. Youthful aspirations made their point in Chris Gendall’s So It Goes, in Samuel Holloway’s Fault, and in the startling orchestration (and title!) of Mark Zadro’s Promiscuous.

This was a program that both entertained and illuminated – which is what every concert should aim to do, surely?

— Jack Body, Artistic Director, Asia Pacific Festival 2007

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