Enyato, the original title for this work is extracted from Edwards’ Maninya text,
an arbitrary nonsense poem dating from 1981 which has had a formative influence on
much of his instrumental and vocal music. Through their musical associations the
‘words’ Maninya and Enyato have acquired the meanings dance/chant and dualism respectively.
The piece has a straightforward appearance, presenting an immediately attractive
sound world to the listener. The first movement is like a chorale, cast in mediaeval
European modality tempered by South East Asian inflections; the second, a joyful
dance (sound clip above) whose ethos is distinctively Australian and specifically
aligned with the Sydney school in its subtle interfusion of pentatonic modes and
sparkling cross rhythms.
One of Australia’s best known composers, Ross Edwards has created a unique sound
world which seeks to reconnect music with elemental forces and restore such qualities
as ritual, spontaneity and the impulse to dance. Intensely aware of his vocation
as a composer, he has largely followed his own path, allowing the music to speak
for itself. Edwards considers it his responsibility to make the most effective use
of one of the planet’s most powerful forces to communicate vividly and widely at
the highest possible artistic level. His music, which is concerned with the age-old
mysteries confronting humanity, is at the same time deeply connected to its roots
in Australia, whose cultural diversity it celebrates, and from whose natural environment
it draws many of its shapes and patterns, notably birdsong and the mysterious drones
of summer insects. Edwards’ belief in the healing power of music is reflected in
a body of contemplative works inspired by sounds of the Australian landscape.
For more information please visit: www.rossedwards.com