In the company of song, we traverse an engaging a capella program, Burden of Truth,which includes two world premieres inspired by original works from the past. Its central concept is a phrase that is repeated in patterns of varying complexity and frequency. Artistic Director Antony Pitts directs the 10 core voices of The Song Company, expanded to include noted guests, further augmented by emerging voices from Sydney’s Conservatorium High School, Sydney Philharmonia VOX and The SongCo Chorale. The concert’s title plays on words, referring to the verities of contemporary life as well as to the musical meaning of the word “burden” which describes a repeated section or “chorus”, particularly in Medieval and Renaissance times (think: “His yoke is easy and His burthen is light” from Handel’s Messiah).

Antony Pitts conducts Burden of Truth. Photograph © Christopher Hayles Photography

Repetition risks monotony. However, Ravel’s Boléro, Pachelbel’s Canonand Adams’ Harmoniumexploit repetition for effect. The second element of this program, the extraordinary number of single parts which comprise the whole, could easily become as tangled as a bowl of spaghetti. In the...