Solo / SB / Grade 9
This composition was conceived as a piece that could be played as a “showpiece” for stage performance as well as for international competitions. It is based around the story of a volcanic eruption and a boy named Qalaalo (pronounced kalarlo, which means ‘near the cliff’ in his language) – a happy-go-lucky young man who is the head of his tribal family in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, living at the base of Mount Tavurvur – an active volcano. The volcano comes to life (Bars 1 and 2). Half asleep, he thinks he’s dreaming (the four notes in the third bar, played at leisure on the bass keyboard and repeated in the treble keyboard). And the story continues….
Written in the keys of G and E Major, with excursions into F# major and B minor, there are varying degrees of complexity within what looks at first to be a simple piece. Unlike much of today’s music, this piece presents the listener with several melodic motifs that can be remembered, and the player with musical and instrumental challenges that require both technical and interpretative skills. Time signatures used include 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 6/4, 7/8, 8/4, and 14/8.