Caravan




year: 2013    instrumentation: solo violin   
commissioned: by the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, with funding from Creative New Zealand   
score sample: click here   

In 1971 I took a never-to-be-forgotten journey overland from Europe to New Zealand.

While traversing Iran by bus, I heard Persian vocal music for the first time, relayed over the sound system. It was intoxicating.

In Tehran I bought a 45 rpm disc recording that matched what I had heard on the bus. The music on the disc, entitled CARAVAN, has provided me with material for this composition/transcription.

As preparation violinists are strongly recommended to listen to a version of this recording, to familiarise themselves with the style of the articulation, which can only be hinted at in my notation.

This recording may be found on YouTube here:



The section I draw material from begins at 7’02".

Intonation is intrinsic to this music. Note the unconventional key signature! The ‘quasi-acciacatura’ embellishments should be ‘neutral 3rds or 6ths, that is, positioned mid-way between a major and a minor interval. An exception to this is Section C, which is an ’interlude’ using conventional Western intonation.

(My thanks to Dene, Martin and Tristan, for their expert advice).


click here for Caravan at SOUNZ