Halcyon’s performance of Torrid Nature Scene

Posted on August 7, 2009


RealTime (online), Oct-Nov 2009, Keith Gallasch

“ … Vines said he thought “lush” was not a word typically associated with Australia, but that he wanted to create “a febrile density” in his work, and so he does. The text, a poem by Andrew Robbie, is already dense with ideas and images … After the opening Wagnerian flourish we are introduced to a sonic world that is certainly lush, rich in operatic soaring, quackings, glides, post-orgasmic gasps, relished words chewed over, and ringing, starry bursts of voices and ensemble as one. In memorable, intense, sustained passages for one singer, the other counters with an undercurrent of noises evocative of nature and the body’s own musical otherworld. Torrid Nature Scene is almost overwhelmingly dense on a first hearing, but its strange beauties are many (its hyper-literary text best left impressionistic) … “


2MBS FM Fine Music, October 2009, Shamistha de Soysa

“ … His music is innovative, thoughtful and is a sincere attempt at describing 21st century society and the Australian ethos … [Torrid Nature Scene] is a frenetic, boisterous romp which endeavours to challenge contemporary attitudes towards the senses and the body …”


The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 August 2009, Peter McCallum

“ … Nicholas Vines describes his Torrid Nature Scene for two sopranos … as a ‘squelchy, lusty romp’, though part of its fascination lay in the way the rhythms, contrived words and artifice of style in Andrew Robbie’s text kept moving away just as one was about to grasp it: think Lewis Carroll with a PhD in semiotics.

Vines’s music was full, extravagant and wild, as though it was an accomplice in undermining the listener’s attempt to tame it. One sometimes had the impression one was being outwitted in conversation by two clever young men. “