Southern Cross at Bondi by Brett Abigaña

June 13, 2018  |   Posted In


By Brett Abigaña

Grade Level: 4.5

A couple summers ago, I was fortunate enough to be in Sydney for the Australian International Music Festival, as a clinician and composer. While there, I was treated to a fantastic dinner by my two good friends Lindsay Frost and Simone Katz who, after the meal, offered to take me on a late­-night tour of the surrounding area. We drove for hours, talking about the city, pointing out the sights, and otherwise just enjoying each other’s company. Along the way, at about 11pm, we ended up at a deserted Bondi Beach. I got out of the car and walked out on the pier a little, admiring the view and enjoying the peace and quiet — being in July, and at night, nobody was out on the beach! I asked Lindsay, and he kindly pointed out the Southern Cross constellation in the night sky, and I remember staring at it for a good long while. Since I’m from the northern hemisphere, and the total opposite end of the globe from Sydney, it’s not something I had ever seen, and I found it absolutely beautiful. We eventually got back in the car and continued our tour, but that moment has stuck in my mind since then, and that has provided the inspiration for your piece. The vibraphone melody uses the notes I heard that night out of a seabird, and the trumpet begins with the notes of a boat whistle. You can also hear magpies, waves, butcherbirds, and other watercraft. As it was quite dark, I couldn’t see much, although I was very conscious of the opera house being “just over there,” and the Southern Cross smiling down on us from above. So to sum it up, the piece is kind of a postcard from me here in Boston to what quickly became one of my favorite cities in the world.

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Additional information

Weight 0.1 lbs
Dimensions .004 × 11 × 17 in

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