The Caves of Ellora

year: 1979    instrumentation: piano and brass ensemble   
commissioned by: Radio New Zealand for International Music Day 1979   

And so composition, for me, is also a kind of mental, one might say, spiritual discipline. It is hard work. One of the most memorable in my travels was to confront the temple complex at Ellora, Maharashtra, in India, and to register how these extraordinary buildings were created. Huge rock faces have been excavated to leave monumental structures, which appear to have been constructed from the ground up. But what it is not what has been placed there, it is what has been removed, which in terms of cubic material is much greater than what remains. It is “architecture in negative?, as if the builders deliberately chose to make the task twice as difficult as it needed to be. The Caves of Ellora for piano and brass ensemble (1979) was my response to this experience.

click here for The Caves of Ellora at SOUNZ