For a long time, I considered the addition of a subtitle for this work – the spaces between. For this is where Indigenous cultures focus their attention when interpreting the sky. The spaces between the stars. This commission was first described to me as a companion piece for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, for the opening gala of the MSO 2020 season, in the 250th anniversary year of the great composer’s birth! No pressure!! Of course, this stand-alone masterpiece requires no companion, but the framework for Dutala is drawn from the same orchestral and choral forces that changed the way
we would think of the Symphonic form forever. There are so many reasons why this work bears such significance. Perhaps the most obvious reason is the addition of language. Schiller’s text (with Beethoven’s additions) rings out with timeless clarity. Give me my language and I will show you my identity. You will recognise at least two humble references to Beethoven’s rhythms and orchestral signature but like every composer since 1824 his legacy is intrinsic and it is celebrated here.