a multi-media piece for clarinet and CD-ROM, June 1999
about Xanana Gusmão and the tragic situation in East Timor

by Australian composer Martin Wesley-Smith for American clarinettist F. Gerard Errante
images by many photographers, including Elaine Brière

commissioned with financial assistance from the Music Fund, Australia Council
CD-ROM prepared in the Electronic Music Studio, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

xanana separation October 22 1999:
Xanana Gusmão released from prison

first performance given by Gerry Errante at the Seoul Arts Centre, Seoul, on August 28 as part of the Sixth Computer Music Festival of Seoul presented by KEAMS (The Korean Electro-Acoustic Music Society)

since then, Australian clarinettist Ros Dunlop has played the piece many times in America, Australia, Europe, New Zealand - and in Dili, Ermera, Same and other parts of East Timor

some recent performances of it (and of Welcome to the Hotel Turismo):

1. Sat Sept 28 2002, Community College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, USA
2. Tues Oct 1 2002, Academy of Music, Vilnius, Lithuania
3. Thurs Nov 28, Leichhardt; Fri Nov 29, Mittagong; and Sat Nov 30 2002, Kangaroo Valley, Australia
4. Thurs Feb 6 2003, St Cyprian's Church, Glentworth St, London
5. Sept-Oct 2003, various performances in the USA
6. February 22 2008, NFSA (National Film & Sound Archive), Canberra, Australia

see The 2002 Tekee Tokee Tomak Tour and a review, below, by Sydney Morning Herald critic Harriet Cunningham

X was also performed on The 2003 Tekee Tokee Tomak Tour to England and Hong Kong (Jan-Feb 2003) and The 2003 Tekee Tokee Tomak Tour to the USA (Sept-Oct 2003)

enquiries: contact Martin Wesley-Smith [mwsmith@shoalhaven.net.au]

requirements: Power Macintosh (OS9 or OSX), stereo audio playback, LCD projector & screen;
sounds and images supplied on CD-ROM

an audio-only version, played by Ros Dunlop, has just been released on CD (click here for ordering details)


Leichhardt Town Hall, November 28 2002

Reviewed by Harriet Cunningham

written for The Sydney Morning Herald

In March and July this year, clarinettist Ros Dunlop gave concerts in East Timor. She was so concerned and inspired by what she saw that she set up a concert series, the 2002 Tekee Tokee Tomak Tour, to raise awareness and funds for the East Timorese cause. On the way, she roped in a number of other willing participants for a spirited and thought-provoking evening of words, music and pictures.

Composer Martin Wesley-Smith has been a staunch supporter of the East Timor cause for many years, and this event was an ideal forum for three of his compositions, inspired by recent world events. Welcome to the Hotel Turismo tells of Dili's main hotel, where journalists, soldiers and homeless Timorese sheltered during the violence following the 1999 independence vote. Like all Wesley-Smith's works presented here, the acoustic part was accompanied by images and sounds on CD-ROM ...

Generations of artists have struggled to find a language to give meaning to the senselessness of war. In X, a work for clarinet and CD-ROM dedicated to Xanana Gusmão, Wesley-Smith has taken up the challenge with every modern resource available to him, including extended techniques (brilliantly delivered by Ros Dunlop) and electronics. The result is genuinely confronting and moving: one cannot hope (or wish) to recreate the horror of East Timor in 1999, but this work is an important historical document. Perhaps not surprisingly, although the music is a fascinating patchwork of interwoven ideas, the most chilling moments are marked by silence.

Merry-Go-Round was commissioned by Ros Dunlop and Julia Ryder for cello, clarinet and CD-ROM. Its inspiration is photographer George Gittoes' collection of images from a recent trip to Afghanistan, including a series of poignant shots of kids playing on a crude wooden merry-go-round. The music is rich in tone colours and drones evoking the traditional music of Afghanistan. My one criticism here would be that the stunning images deserved more measured presentation. The impact of the multimedia ephemera in the two previous works was enhanced by slick digital magic, but the haunting music and images of Merry-Go-Round needed no such hi-tech packaging.

note: Charisma and Martin Wesley-Smith are available for concerts. See Tekee Tokee Tomak concert site.

from a review by Carmel Budiardjo of a London concert (Feb 6 2003) at which "X", "Tekee Tokee Tomak"
and "Welcome to the Hotel Turismo" were played:

"The clarinetists Ros Dunlop and Natascha Briger performed superbly well and the combination of sound and visuals worked extremely well in helping to give the compositions greater depth and to appeal to a very mixed audience ... artistically rewarding and a powerful tribute to the courageous people of East Timor."

from a review by David Morris (Clarinet & Saxophone, London, Spring 2003) of the same concert:

Down to business, however, and next was X by Martin Wesley-Smith. This was the first of several of his multi-media works, comprising slides, tape and clarinet. Lest there be any confusion, the slide show was not of the Could we have the next one, please Geoff school, but a compelling sequence of images fading into one another, colours and textures constantly on the move, all under the control of the composer and his Macintosh. The tape merged broadcast sound bites with choral passages and electronic effects, big noise with jaunty instrumental numbers, all synchronised with the visual images. Over the top was Ros Dunlop's live clarinet. "X" refers to the resistance leader Xanana Gusmão, imprisoned in 1999 while the Indonesian military withdrew from East Timor. The images were brutal. So was the music, though the screaming clarinet might have benefited from some amplification to match the volume of the tape and heighten the anguish in the climactic passages. However, in quieter parts, Ros Dunlop's melancholy lines were serene.

to download and view a short Shockwave movie (2.6MB) of the last section of Welcome to the Hotel Turismo, for cello or bass clarinet & CD, which is a companion piece to X, click here

The computer part of X has previously been available only for a Macintosh running OS9. It now works under OSX, and will shortly be available as an .exe file that will run under Windows on a PC. Enquiries: e-mail Martin Wesley-Smith.

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