It’s Law Week. And a key event is a grand Bottled Snail event — ‘Terminus’ — combining the forces of Dan Walker’s Habeas Chorus, a choir of members of the legal profession, and Robert Dora‘s Melbourne Lawyers’ Orchestra, aka The Lawchestra, full of law students, barristers, solicitors, and a judge. It features, not very prominently at all, yours truly on second flute.
There is even a trailer you can watch here. There are two performances: afternoon and evening, this Saturday, in St Paul’s Cathedral (consider bringing a small cushion). You buy tickets here, and the profits will go to Bottled Snail which makes a substantial donation each year to the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation, whose aim is to improve the mental health of lawyers. Great strides are being made by our profession, a little late perhaps, but there is much more to be done with regard to mental health, as my own practice regularly reminds me.
W.A. Mozart’s last piece, his Requiem is the support act. Headlining the gig, though, is the Melbourne premiere of local composer Dan Walker‘s Last Voices, a setting of the last poems of D.H. Lawrence, Robert Herrick (a 17th century poet who begat ‘Gather ye rosebuds while ye may’), Elinor Wylie (a famously beautiful American poet popular in the roaring 20s), the American transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Thomas Hardy of Victorian England. It is beautiful and treads the line exquisitely between being accessible and being dumbed down. It’s tuneful yet dissonant. Modern, yet respectful of tradition. I love it. It’s not available on Spotify. There is not even a recording of it. It’s real yet improbably transitory. Either you come to the concert, or you miss out.
There are a lot of shows, and not much time. So I would not be surprised, unless you are a close relative or colleague of a performer, if you thought to yourself in contemplation of your own not so distant death — Life is too short to listen to community orchestras. But we’re absolutely nailing this one, and I have no hesitation in inviting you to come along in order to hear a great concert, rather than out of any sense of duty. If we were to attempt Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, it could be painful. But these two pieces are the gas.