Composer's Introduction: 'As one of the oldest societies on campus it is thoroughly appropriate that the Queensland University Musical Society (QUMS) should commission a new work as its contribution to the University of Queensland's 75th Anniversary. Having successfully applied to the Music Board of the Australia Council for financial assistance, QUMS offered me the commission.
I accepted with alacrity, and immediately approached my friend, poet Thomas Shapcott, who suggested a libretto on botanist/explorer Allan Cunningham. Tom and I have collaborated on some dozen major choral works since our first in 1968, and although I was not familiar with Cunningham's biography knew from previous experience that Tom would only suggest it as a suitable topic if it were rich with possibilities. W. G. McMinn's monograph Allan Cunningham (Melbourne University Press, 1970) quickly convinced me that here was a story crying out to be dramatised....' (1-3 pp. after score)