Sonata for Organ
‘Transport Abandoned’
duration: 22’
GRT • 213

score available from
Australian Music Centre

program note
I. Uyuni Train Cemetery, Bolivia (abandoned, 1950’s)
Rusting merchant ships, The Aral Sea, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (stranded, 1960’s)
III. Douglas Super DC–3 cargo plane, Sólheimasandur, Iceland (crashed, 1973)
IV. Soviet tanks, Kabul Military Training Centre, Afghanistan (abandoned, 1989)
V. Balaklava Submarine Base, Crimea, Russia (closed, 1993)

This sonata in 5 movements is subtitled ‘
Abandoned Transport’ and refers to Kieron Connolly’s book, Abandoned Places (Amber, London, 2016). And in doing so forms a companion piece to my Sonata for Cor Anglais and Piano (2018) on a similar theme. Here, though, the photographs selected are of transport – trains, ships, a plane, tanks and a submarine base; all of which have been abandoned, stranded, crashed or closed. The movements get shorter as the work progresses, reflecting the nature of erosion over time that ultimately reclaims what were once great feats of human engineering.

The 16th in a series of sonatas written in the new millennium, it was written intensely over the first 7 days of September 2019, while in residence at the Akiyoshidai International Art Village in Japan. The premiere performance was given by Thomas Grubb on 5 August 2022 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne.