Composer's note: My three movement work for piano four-hands was created in collaboration with Australian artist, Bonney Bombach, whose abstract sky-map paintings make a poignant statement about climate change and environmental decay. Her pieces involve an overlay of beach detritus with her father's astronomy sky maps and mapping implements painted around and intermingled by collage with plastic pieces found washed up on shore from overly heavy rains. Bonney comments that she was inspired by the colors of earth, water and the onset of a catastrophic wet season after an extended dry. I find them wonderful abstracts with very attractive balances, ominous tones and harmonic color, providing a perfect metaphor for my composition about our planet's changing climate patterns.
Movement 1-"Sky map" has a smooth, moderate tempo with lyrical, singing phrases. Bonney's painting is much like a still life lyrically balanced around a central large white space in an orange-brown background. To me it evokes a curious stillness of the beach viewed from the sky before the coming of the big wet. 2-"Catching the moon" in a quicker waltz-like tempo, swirls and zooms in on blue-water and the reddish-brown landscapes in Bombach's abstraction. 3-"Onset of the big wet" with a syncopated, driving pulse gives voice to the catastrophic wet season, flying-fleeting lines, sudden chordal interruptions and an antiphonal interplay between the four hands. The music concludes, as Bombach's visual rendering suggests, with a fugal sound print of flood, fury, and the pollution of earth's climate change amidst our celestial galaxy.