Topical Work by Composer Matthew Hindson Is Bedside Reading for Violinist Lara St. John
An Ode to Australians Displaced by Atomic Testing
I don’t own a music stand (I use beds: hotel or my own), but if I did, “Maralinga” would have been on it for quite some time. When Wolf Trap presented the opportunity to commission a piece for violin and piano, I immediately thought of Matthew Hindson, an Australian composer whose supremely original and evocative Violin Concerto I recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007.
He decided to call the piece “Maralinga,” a word I initially thought was pretty, unaware of the infamous history of the eponymous province.Located in South Australia, Maralinga is a large desert area used by the British in the 1950s as a nuclear test site. The native population was not properly evacuated, and apparently little regard was given to the Australian military personnel exposed to radiation from the tests.
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