White Dawn – Songs and Soundscapes by David Lumsdaine


Catalogue No: MSV 28519
EAN/UPC: 809730851926
Artists: , , , ,
Release Date: November 2010
Genres: , , , ,
Discs: 2
Total Playing Time: 119:50

David Lumsdaine’s work is mostly rooted in Australia where he was born though he now lives in the UK. This unique and intriguing set includes pieces for a variety of instruments (not all are vocal) a number of which relate to the Australian landscape and the sounds of its unique wildlife – which are also captured in live ‘outback’ recordings demonstrating the voices of the birds and creatures which inspired some of the works.

The music itself is most approachable and well written. Definitely an important addition to the modern music repertoire.

Track Listing

    David Lumsdaine:

  1. Soundscape: the Billabong at Sunset (4:44)
  2. I. A Little Cantata – Tracey Chadwell In Memoriam – I. Instrumental (0:47)
  3. II. A Little Cantata – Tracey Chadwell In Memoriam – II. High Mountain Meadow (0:29)
  4. III. A Little Cantata – Tracey Chadwell In Memoriam – III. Instrumental (0:31)
  5. IV. A Little Cantata – Tracey Chadwell In Memoriam – IV. I gave you some Scores (0:33)
  6. V. A Little Cantata – Tracey Chadwell In Memoriam – V. This cricket, that grasshopper (1:31)
  7. Soundscape: Frogs at Night (6:07)
  8. Blue upon Blue (7:24)
  9. Soundscape: Raven Cry (3:56)
  10. I. Six Postcard Pieces – Ouverture (0:57)
  11. II. Six Postcard Pieces – March (0:31)
  12. III. Six Postcard Pieces – Rhapsody (0:52)
  13. IV. Six Postcard Pieces – Nocturne (0:22)
  14. V. Six Postcard Pieces – Sonata (1:35)
  15. VI. Six Postcard Pieces – Toccata (0:28)
  16. Soundscape: Serenade (5:22)
  17. A Tree Telling of Orpheus (24:33)
  18. Soundscape: Hunting a Crested Billbird for Dr Gilbert (7:04)
  19. Metamorphosis at Mullet Creek (2:26)
  20. I. A Norfolk Songbook – Gallows Hill (3:42)
  21. II. A Norfolk Songbook – Hare (0:51)
  22. III. A Norfolk Songbook – The world oozing (2:21)
  23. IV. A Norfolk Songbook – Hedgerow (0:18)
  24. V. A Norfolk Songbook – Wind shouts (0:36)
  25. VI. A Norfolk Songbook – Barn Owl (2:37)
  26. VII. A Norfolk Songbook – Gulls jostling (0:44)
  27. VIII. A Norfolk Songbook – Rainbow dance (1:24)
  28. IX. A Norfolk Songbook – Black Sky (0:43)
  29. X. A Norfolk Songbook – Spring Tide (4:54)
  30. I. Cambewarra – I (11:43)
  31. II. Cambewarra – II (8:35)
  32. III. Cambewarra – III (11:02)



Meticulously organized instrumental and chamber pieces… superb anthology… Lumsdaine snatches empiric sound sources from an open-ended world of possibilities. These performances prove deeply sensitive to Lumsdaine’s needs, with a special nod going to pianist Peter Lawson. A lesson in musical possibility and artistic skill from a composer of rare sonic vision.

” —Phillip Clark

An unusual but rewarding feature… is the five Australian Soundcapes. All the perfomers enter Lumsdaine’s musical world with skill and enthusiasm, and perform a representative programme of his music with which any composer would be delighted. We can enjoy exploring the works of one of Australia’s most creative and individual musicians.

” —Andrew Mayes

This double CD has … seen the light of day and, like a rare flower, at last blossomed into being. Every note is perfectly placed and none wasted … all the participants interpret this music with consummate skill and devotion to detail.

” —Richard Leigh Harris

Lumsdaine is a master of scale. Most of these pieces are aphoristic miniatures.. [they] encompass complete musical universes in their tiny durations. The longer pieces are hypnotic. In them one loses all sense of time and comes away with a feeling of time well spent. This is music of profound stillness despite its often disjunct, almost Webernesque intervals. Soprano Lesley-Jane Rogers is unflappable in the face of this music’s demands…accuracy of pitch, tone production and excellent diction. Recorder virtuoso John Turner becomes a cosmic bird, pianist Peter Lawson comfortably navigates the daunting demands of Cambewarra. The recorded sound is first-rate by today’s standards

” —William Zagorski
American Record Guide

The [Soundscapes] are vivid and intense and they do create an atmosphere.. the music, often freely tonal, often quite abstract… captures [Lumsdaine’s] intertwined passions for music and nature.

” —Kilpatrick

These discs sum up Australia and its culture superbly well. Lesley-Jane Rogers is an absolute delight. Peter Lawson is quite brilliant and utterly convincing… John Turner’s magical playing… vivid and exciting performance. Excellent booklet… a composer with much that is original to say.

” —Gary Higginson
American Recorder

John Turner continues to impress… Deserving of particular note is the double-disc set White Dawn… thoroughly enjoyable, beautifully engineered.

” —Tom Bickley

This is challenging music for the listener… but not without its rewards. The sound recording is excellent, though the cellist’s breathing is rather audible in Blue on Blue. The booklet is glossy and informative, with biographies, poem texts and interesting and well-written notes by [Anthony] Gilbert. More than a full CD’s worth of [Lumsdaine’s] works here that any lover of contemporary music should be familiar with.

” —Byzantion