Whispers of Gallipoli was commissioned by Robert Tucker for performances in 2015, commemorating 100 years since the ill-fated Gallipoli war campaign.
These songs build a picture of events surrounding Gallipoli through extracts from poems, songs, diaries and interviews. We hear different perspectives: from eye-witness accounts, from anxious mothers, from officers in command, from poets looking back on the campaign, from death itself, personified. Text from popular culture is mixed with Maori text, and there are poems both contemporary and old. The music sometimes dramatizes these words, sometimes reflects on them.
At the heart of the song cycle is a setting of the poem Anzac by Trooper Argyle Campbell.
Whispers of Gallipoli is a comment on a disastrous campaign, and the humanity of those involved. The final song, with words taken from the Ataturk Memorial in Turkey, is a reconciliation of the two sides who took part in this battle.
The song cycle is divided into three parts:
This composition was made possible with the financial assistance of The University of Otago, 2014.
Note that the texts are printed at the end of the score.
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