The Night that the Museum Burned
for choir SATB and strings (2022)
duration: 9’
text by Ross Baglin
GRT • 229

score available soon from
Australian Music Centre

program note
This choral work was commissioned by Brett Weymark and the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for performance in their Grant us Peace concert in St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney on 9 July 2022. The original text was written by Ross Baglin specifically for the occasion.


text
The night that the museum burned  
There was a party for the cast  
Of a curated image, soon to screen 
Across a million paying lives,  
Forty storeys in a shaft of light :   
His dental porcelain enclosing 
All the opinions that a suit supposed, 
A chromium magnate man arose  
And scanning stockings like a barcode  
Said all the room was priced to hear :   
In washed silk, under swaying trays  
Caryatids offered canapes  
And in champagne flutes with graceful limbs  
The bubbles rose and raced from base to brim. 
              …. 
Flung from a hieroglyphic bridge,  
A bottled comet tailed its flame  
Into the ragged membrane  
Of a window.  Soon, the sirened, red  
Torrential engines tore the glass,  
And on the windows of the passing trains  
The tattooed fires instagrammed  
Their blitzkrieg for the second page. 
No silver tower knew what embers whirled  
In sparks on graphite skies, or mourned  
For things it deemed too old to learn
Or caryatids overturned  
The night that the museum burned