sing songs self

click here for score sample (pages 1-8)

year: 2012         instrumentation: piano and orchestra        duration: 11'

dedicated to: Sarah Watkins

recorded by: NZSO
conductor Hamish McKeich
and Sarah Watkins        

programme note:

My 2 year old son's bedtime rituals included milk drinking, book reading, story telling and the singing of songs. When it came time to say goodnight he would declare, "sing songs self" - meaning he now wanted me to leave the room whereupon he would sing himself to sleep.

This nightly declaration implied his acceptance of the transition from needing company and protection to steeling himself to go it alone and face the night, indeed, to face his fears. It seemed somehow related to the concerto medium: a me-against-the-world scenario full of uncertainties in which overcompensation for the frailties of the individual via displays of virtuosity are the norm.

sing songs self was the winner of the 2015 SOUNZ Contemporary Award. Chris discusses the win and the work with RNZ Concert's Cynthia Morahan, below.