composed Hinterlandto explore the concept of ‘earth’ to follow-up last year’s wind-themed tone poem Spiritus. The German title (literally “land behind”) speaks of my feeling of disconnection, the land lying seemingly beyond the obscuring sprawl of our urban existence. Rather than compose purely out of my imagined sense of this colossal mass below, I focus in Hinterlandon how the landscape elicits a direct psychological response from me through its various reflections of sound and light. Topography shapes the diffusion of light (especially touching at dawn and dusk), and we perceive visual depth and therefore space in its relation to the horizon. Likewise, the acoustics in a landscape can shape our psychological response in a subtle but distinct manner. So, taking the many unique rock formations of my native Western Australia as a starting point, Hinterlandbecomes a series of imagined sound and light plays acted out in music.

Lachlan Skipworth, Hinterland, WASO Lachlan Skipworth. Photo © Nik Babic

The work – which was commissioned by Geoff Stearn for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra – opens with deep brooding chords sweeping slowly through the orchestra like continents shifting gradually...

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