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  • Writer's pictureKate Reid

DANIEL SOLANDER. A song cycle with narrative.

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

I am so excited! After 3 years work and twice being postponed (!) my song cycle, SOLANDER, will be performed on Saturday, 15th May at The Governors Centre, Moore Park, Sydney by The Sydney Chamber Choir. Here is the general info and booking details.

SOLANDER 15TH MAY 2021: BOOK NOW! We are excited to say tickets are selling fast so jump in quickly if you are interested in attending this one off event!

You are invited to experience the World Premiere of an exciting new Australian composition. SOLANDER, a musical celebration of the great Swedish botanist, Daniel Solander (1733-1782) who accompanied Cook on his first Pacific voyage. It will be performed by the Sydney Chamber Choir directed by Sam Allchurch. Composer Kate Reid, text and lyrics Rodney Fisher and Kate Reid, narrator John Gaden.

On Saturday 15 May 2021 at 7:30 PM to 8:45 PM Doors open 6.30PM Tickets are $75 and parking is $12 paid at entry from Cleveland Street, Moore Park LOCATION The Governors Centre 556 Cleveland Street, Moore Park, NSW 2021 Book Now

A bit of background to the work

I was first drawn to the story of Daniel Solander, the highly acclaimed Swedish botanist and talented linguist, after many visits to Sweden, where I had the opportunity to appreciate the diversity of its people, the splendid landscape and the extreme winters - vastly different from the world that I was used to on the other side of the earth. This song cycle is written in celebration of Solander’s important contribution to scientific discovery and the great courage and commitment it demanded from him.

It begins with Solander’s childhood in the north of Sweden. It opens with a gentle reference to the indigenous people of northern Sweden, the Sami, singing a lullaby. It goes on to follow him on his two-year journey to Australia on the Endeavour as assistant to Joseph Banks in 1768. It concludes with a farewell to Solander, where we hear the same Sami motif return in the final bars.

There are seven movements for a combination of voices, ranging from two soloists to full SATB choir. The only instrument is a vibraphone. The movements are linked by a narrative spoken by John Gaden. Rodney Fisher has provided the beautiful narrative and many of the lyrics.

I have been moved to respond to Solander’s life story and to acknowledge, through my music, this extraordinary individual whose work, in spite of its significance and its relevance here, remains relatively unknown in Australia today.

John Gaden and me visiting the brand new theatre 22-02-21



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