John Psathas

Matre’s Dance for piano and percussion (1991)

one percussion player

total number of players: 2

piano and percussion: 2 timpani, 3 tomtoms, pizollo snare drum

12 min.

The composer writes:

‘The title refers to a dance performed by a group of fanatics in one of Frank Herbert’s Dune books. The dance was non-repeating and exhausting for the dancer, who often collapsed or died before completing the extremely long, complex routine.

‘Created during an intense eight days, and actually commissioned as a violin solo, Matre’s Dance was premiered by David Guerin and Bruce McKinnon in the Adam Concert Room of the Victoria University School of Music in 1991. This was the first piece which suggested to me I might have some future in composing.

‘Following its premiere, Matre’s Dance passed from my hands into Evelyn Glennie’s and has now seen much more of the world than I will ever manage to.’


Annotated by Nicholas White