13 May 2020

Sacred Sky

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Sacred Sky (String quartet No. III)

by Nigel Westlake.

Performed by the Australian String Quartet.

Dale Barltrop, Francesca Hiew – violins

Stephen King – viola

Sharon Grigoryan – cello.

Filmed at Phoenix Central Park, Sydney

In four movements –

I – Sacred Sky

II – Where the Spirit Dances by the Edge of the Sea

III – The Turning Tide

IV – The Journey Begins

Sacred Sky is dedicated to the memory of my sister Kate, who lost her battle with cancer early in 2018.  

An actor, singer, visual artist, & extraordinary event producer, Kate was a beautiful & totally unique individual on many levels. As siblings we shared a very close bond and were great mates right to the end.

I have endeavoured to invoke Kate’s spirit, in the hope of imbuing the music with themes of beauty, energy, soulfulness, & transcendence. Inevitably the fingerprints of grief and sadness permeate the musical narrative at times, but there is also an overarching sense of joy and optimism. I tried to write a piece that Kate would have loved to hear.

The titles of each movement are taken from four of Kate’s seascape paintings, a collection of visual meditations based on unnamed locations, somewhere on the eastern seaboard of Australia.

The pictures are studies in the reflection, scattering and radiance of light and shadow, and they inhabit a rich and evocative emotional terrain.

I am very grateful to Dale, Sharon, Francesca and Stephen for so willingly agreeing to be a part of this journey and also to Carl Wood and Don and Veronica Aldridge for their very generous sponsorship of the work.

Sacred Sky was composed for, and commissioned by the Australian String Quartet with generous support from Carl Wood and Don and Veronica Aldridge.