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The Ayrshire Hermit

“The Aryshire Hermit” 2017 for flute and harp, written for and premiered by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra 2017, commissioned by the National Women in Composition Development Program



Program Note

This piece was written for the exhibition “A Folio of British Street Portraits-
Dempsey’s People”, about the image “The Ayrshire Hermit”. This
collaboration was thanks to the National Women in Composition Development
The man in this picture profoundly spoke to me. He is a solitary wanderer, a
soul of the Earth, seemingly misunderstood but looks a garden of beauty
nonetheless. His eyes are full of youth and the brightness of the colours on
his patchwork clothes tell me that he has so much life about him.
Upon his mouth, a subtle, mysterious smile of content— that for so much that
he keeps from his fellows, he shares two fold with the rest of the world around
him. He is a vibrant, introverted but intrinsically content creature of the Earth.
From my interpretation of the image, I decided to depict the bright splendour
of the ‘hermit’, highlight his complexities with my music and challenge the
misunderstanding portrayed by his label, to re-depict the reclusive connotation
of ‘hermit’ with the enchanting curiosity of ‘wanderer’.


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