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Hollow Lands and Hilly Lands

An exciting line-up of local and international artists gathers to interpret original music introduced and presented by composer Adrian Bell. Adrian’s music will transport you through a host of moods, characters and colours, from the wonder of new life in Blake’s Infant Joy and the pastoral innocence of The Lamb to the terrible majesty of The Tyger.

A setting of W B Yeats’ poem The Song of Wandering Aengus is at the heart of the programme. Aengus, the immortal poet of Irish mythology, wanders ‘through hollow lands and hilly lands’ in search of a lost love. In traditional legend he finds her transformed into a swan. But for Yeats, Aengus grows old in his search and his love remains unrequited. His joy, like ours, is always tinged with sadness, his contentment with longing, and his celebration with lament. The flowers look up along the path and it is they, not us, who say farewell. We yearn to be like the clouds whose thoughtless fleeces lie draped after rain. But torn pieces of us catch in time’s brambles and thickets. We leave ourselves behind, moving perpetually into light too bright for our eyes. Aengus’ story expresses an unfulfillable, secret longing in each human heart that Adrian believes it’s the business of music and poetry to speak for and console.

Adrian Bell will sing Yeats’ The Song of Wandering Aengus and The Fiddler of Dooney, while his daughter Olivia will sing Blake’s The Lamb and The Tyger. Father and daughter come together for the duet Infant Joy.

The programme’s newest work, Sonata for Viola and Piano, opens with a piping motif borrowed from bush birds around Adrian’s home to represent the long, green days of childhood. The second movement is a free-flowing lament, and the last argues its way towards acceptance. The unique scoring of the Trio for Flute, Trombone and Piano creates music of great contrasts, brilliance and power. The piece for solo cello, The Scorched Carpet – remembering Ibtihal, is a moving tribute to Ibtihal Samarayi, one of the Central Coast’s heroes.

Hollow Lands and Hilly Lands is an opportunity to share delicious food, a glass of wine, a cup of tea or coffee with composer and performers in a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. 

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Robert Knox Hall, CC Conservatorium, 45 Mann St, Gosford




Adult $30
Concession $27
Student $15
Child Free


Mission Statement

We seek to inspire our Central Coast community to engage in and value music as an integral part of life through comprehensive music education and artistic endeavour.