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William Barton: Petrichor and Birdsong at Dusk

09 August, 2020

Chamber Sounds #6. Watch the peerless composer and performer, William Barton and musicians from the Sydney Symphony perform two of Barton's enthralling pieces for string quartet and didgeridoo.

Series: Chamber Sounds
On Demand from: 9 August 2020


WILLIAM BARTON composer, vocals and didgeridoo

About the Music

Written by William Barton

I was inspired to write Birdsong at Dusk at a friend's beach house in Mango Avenue in Mackay, in far north-western Queensland.

The waves of the ocean were floating upon the sand while the birds were singing their song. With a piano close to the verandah, I began to write: overlooking the inlet on a low tide, the sun drifting to meet the sky, I listened to the birdsong at dusk.

Petrichor is a memory of the magic of the Australian bush, when the rain falls upon the earth and rocky outcrops of spinifex country in the great rugged beauty of the Argylla and Selwyn Range, the heart of Kalkadungu — or anywhere in the world, in fact, where you can experience that special feeling when it rains.

Growing up in Mount Isa, far north-western Queensland is still where I find inspiration, sharing this experience through music with my fellow musicians and collaborators. I feel honoured to perform with members of the Sydney Symphony, my extended music family, bringing my music to life as an expression of the times we live in.

The vocals at the top of this particular performance of Petrichor signifies a calling out of our mother country and the memory of rain replenishing our sacred earth. Each player contributes to creating this musical journey onstage. We all look forward to sharing music with you in person one day soon enough.