Composer - de Castro-Robinson, Eve

At Water’s Birth (NZTrio commission, premiered April 2008) – 10′

Split the Lark (violin and piano) – 15′

Tumbling Strains (violin and cello) – 15′

At Water’s Birth:

The title and words used in the piece are lifted from the long poem Archipelago by Denys Trussell:

At water’s birth/the light deluge, /amen of stars/losing energy/earthwards

At the joining/of elements/the sea and/the eye of/the fish holding/the world/in its glance.

this liquid rhythm/ of space, this/blue turning/of the world/s water


floating/in the light/s deluge/of the world/before its word.

I have found Trussell’s poetry particularly inspiring for music. this liquid drift of light for piano (2000) was also to do with water-related imagery. There is a concern with ecology, geology, mythology and identity in the poems, which acts for me as a springboard to musical utterances of a ritualistic type – hence the vocalisations, whistling, and other heightened sonorities which pervade the work. The meandering sections of the music suggest a relationship with the forces of water, its depth, currents and undercurrents. The rhythm of the words too, is reflected in those of the music.

At water’s birth was commissioned by NZTrio, with funding from Creative New Zealand.


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