The centenary of Patrick White's birth is being celebrated musically as well as visually. (See ‘Patrick White Exhibitions in Canberra' for examples of the latter.) On Sunday, 26 May, ABC Radio National broadcast Patrick White’s Ear. The 44-minute episode of the Into the Music program features composers and friends of White sharing their stories and observations. ‘Carl Vine, Peter Sculthorpe and Moya Henderson talk frankly about setting [White’s] words to music, while Vincent Plush and Jack Carmody reflect on its place in his work.’ The episode also includes readings by Kate Fitzpatrick from six of White’s novels. To listen to Patrick White’s Ear, click here.
The Australian Chamber Orchestra's (ACO) June 2012 touring program features music linked directly to White. The orchestra is premiering a new composition by Carl Vine using text from The Tree of Man. Vine writes: ‘the text is full of lilting, natural and repetitive rhythms, which I have heightened with simple step-wise melody and accompaniment that emphasises its regularities ... I have endeavoured to reflect, in every aspect of the music, the simplicity and sincerity of the novel’s language’ (Carl Vine’s website). Details of the ACO tour dates and locations are available on the orchestra’s website.
(Image credits for the portrait of Patrick White, above: Margaret Woodward, Portrait of Patrick White, Centennial Park, 1993, pen, ink. Courtesy of Digital Collections, National Library of Australia.)