As the country burned and the pandemic made its way to our shores in early 2020, Rachael Dease – 2020 Prelude Composer-in-Residence at Gallop House (courtesy of the Bundanon Trust) and esteemed multi-hyphenate performer – started piecing together what would become Hymn for End Timesas she sat with her newborn son. Dease wrote that she was “nursing a baby and thinking about how it was all going to end. How we were going to end. I sang lullabies to one of the last little boys. I began to write them down”. As our city emerged from lockdown and began to recover from our own fires ( The Betoota Advocatecheekily reported that Perth was “currently receiving a condensed version of last year”), the chilling premise for Hymns for End Timeswas felt even more acutely before the performance had even begun.

Rachael Dease and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Photograph © Daniel Grant

That’s not to say that the collaboration between Dease, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Voyces on Hymns for End Times– commissioned...

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.