Orbis details a celebration of the natural beauties known to Earth, while also considering the extent to which the human touch expands over and within our planet. To hold something precious in our hands that is the here and now - to own both the occurrence and our contribution to the way things currently are... these ideas all circulated in my mind when first considering the depth of concept woven into this work. There is so much about my homeland that is beautiful and so much of this we either do not see on a regular basis or... conversely we think of often yet do not understand the extent to which our touch passes over the countryside.
Australia is a country largely founded on mining. From our gold rush to contemporary political debates over mines and their impact on the environment - we are a civilisation that is conscious of the impact of mining and yet very much dependant on it for our economic gain. This piece is simply a reflection to pause for a moment and see things as they are - not as they will be if we continue with destructive actions or even as they were before the excavations and digging began... simply as they are now. It is difficult to do as suddenly the earth becomes something alive and a force we can interact with. She gives us life and no matter how far we push her, still she carries us on.
There is a proverb in native American thinking that we do not inherit the planet from our ancestors... rather, we borrow it from our children. This sentiment strikes such a strong resonance and makes petty debates seem evermore frustrating to endure. Simply to be... to listen to the earth and stand for a moment in both the awe of all that our beautiful planet is, and the overwhelming power we have over her. We can be our greatest saviours or destroyers and the point is not to save or destroy. Simply to listen, and completely to be.
A piece on the subject of mining; Orbis was the first work composed in the Artefact Series collection of works, detailing the inflections and particular qualities of a performer and their characteristic of playing. From micro-inflections to life of performance itself, this work brought about a change in the way I compose for solo instrumentalists. It is, in some respects, a study that has led to the blossoming of subsequent works and will therefore always be important to this collection. The work was premiered by James Morley in May 2016.