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"An Australian in New York" was commissioned by the Brisbane Festival and a preview performance  by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra happened during the 2013 Festival.  


These snippets are all that could be salvaged as there were many technical issues arising from the outdoor event.  


Plans are underway to record "An Australian in New York" with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2014.


About - “An Australian in New York”



This work is through composed in small vignettes - with reverence, cheekiness, great beauty and excitement it is about my favourite things/places/experiences in Manhattan.


The entire work is based upon my view that NY is an Augmented 4th.... it can resolved either way or not... always a surprise... sometimes more than one augmented 4th is in play.



"Lincoln Tunnel to New Jersey"


I love driving from New Jersey to the Lincoln Tunnel and into Manhattan.... the breathtaking view of the city skyline never ceases to amaze me. I've stretched my compositional techniques to all sorts of frenetic traffic sounds, horns blaring, sirens, jet whistles, beat multi-phonics - all with a sense of “something's gonna happen..”


"Manhattan Skyline"


B major chord followed by a C major chord (find the augmented 4th) and the triumphant sweep of the skyline is revealed. Blazing Horns herald the city in all it's majesty.


"West Side Highway"


I love the bustle of the west-side highway.... it not only brings us home, it hurries up the Island of Manhattan with a race car feel, full of stops and starts and NY driving being infused with life. It takes us to Harlem and further... so it's very couldn't possibly think you were anywhere else...


"Upper West Side"


This is where we live... very artistic.. The Gershwin boys lived just around the corner from us and many many musicians lived and worked on the Upper West Side - including Enrico, Caruso, Arturo Toscanini, Leonard Bernstein, John Lennon, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Sting & Ezio Pinza. The Upper West Side is home to the MET, NY Phil, Lincoln Centre, Symphony Space, Julliard and many clubs, churches & homes where the Arts flourish.


“Riverside Park, "Squirrels", "Promenading on Broadway", "Madness of Mid-town”


Riverside Park is a narrow four-mile (6 km) strip of land between the Hudson River and the rise-and-fall of Riverside Drive. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife, Squirrels live here in the thousands. A few blocks away is Broadway, though not the theatre district – the street – which leads to the madness of mid-town. Something changes every few seconds!


"The Violinist at 310, W98th"


I don't know who this player is, but they inspired me every time I walked up the street and hear the gorgeous sounds emanating from this building.


"The Clarinettist on Riverside Drive"


The sounds of Rhapsody in Blue are never far in NY – this clarinettist is jazzy, cheeky, virtuosic and can play a high “C”.... 3 notes higher than Woody Herman's “Golden Wedding” - after all this is New York!... and things are higher, faster, brighter...


"USS Intrepid"


The USS Intrepid floats proudly off Mid-Town... a WWII carrier that couldn't be sunk. A great Museum and well loved – with an enormous history from Kamikaze attacks to picking up Astronauts from Apollo missions


A thundering score of mixed meter... the main theme on the Heroic Horns derived from the 2nd bar of the traditional counter melody of the Navy Hymn - “Eternal Father, Strong to Save”. Many effect are used – morse code, the “a-wooga” sound of a ship klaxon & Kamikaze Dive Bombers.


"Fr. Mychal Judge"


Father Mychal Judge was a Roman Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor, Chaplain of the Fire Department of New York and was designated as "Victim 0001" as the first official victim of the September 11, 2001 attacks. When the South Tower collapsed at 9:59 am,Father Mychal Judge died after debris went flying through the North Tower lobby.


"First Responders"


First Responders include fire, police and emergency medical personnel. These heroes of society are our neighbours, family & friends. I decided to write a simple hymn of thanks to these brave men and women, which grows in stature with heroic counter melodies in the horns & trumpets. We return to the Father Mychal Judge theme, as a pivotal part of the selflessness of First Responders.


"The Freedom Tower"


One World Trade Center, abbreviated as 1 WTC and commonly known by its previous name “Freedom Tower”, is the lead building of the new World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan on the site of the September 11, 2001 attacks.


The theme of the Manhattan Skyline, Fr Mychal Judge & the 1st Responders are intertwined as bells peal through the orchestra in a a triumphant ending - embodying the indomitable spirit of New Yorkers.

Sean O'Boyle

December 2012

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