Ross Harris - Tribute and Tribulation

From Composer of the Week, 9:00 am on 3 May 2015
Ross Harris

Ross Harris Photo: Gareth Watkins / Lilburn Trust / Wallace Arts Trust


Ross Harris (b. 1945) is a New Zealand composer whose music takes in the widest of influences, from European concert music to electro-acoustic, to Māori music and klezmer. 

Interviewer Elizabeth Kerr noticed that through all these influences, Ross often focuses on dark themes. She asked him why that is and got the following reply: 

"Yeah, the world’s out there isn’t it? And one reads about it and thinks about it and obviously is completely separate from it and there may be, to some extent, some kind of guilt about it. But these are profound things which I feel need to be expressed and maybe I’m not all that good at jolly music to be honest…"

Music Details:

HARRIS: Requiem for the Fallen - Richard Greager (ten), Horomona Horo (taonga puoro), Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir, New Zealand String Quartet (RNZ)
HARRIS: Bremner Aria - David Bremner (tbn), National Youth Brass Band of New Zealand (Trust MMT 2049)
HARRIS: Labyrinth for tuba & orchestra - Andrew Jarvis (tuba), New Zealand SO (RNZ)
HARRIS: To a Child - realised by Ross Harris (Kiwi SLD 46)
HARRIS: Echo - Mary Robbie (tpt), with tape delay system (Kiwi SLD 83)
HARRIS: Waituhi, Act 2 - Waituhi cast/ Ross Harris (cond) (RNZ)
HARRIS: Wild Daisies - Anna Pierard (mezzo), Emma Sayers (pno) (Waiteata WTA 004)
HARRIS: To the Memory of I S Totzka - Susan Roper (sop), Victoria University Ensemble (VUW XFR117)
HARRIS: Violin Concerto - Anthony Marwood (vln), New Zealand SO/ Tecwyn Evans (RNZ)
HARRIS: The Sleep of Reason - 175 East (RNZ)
HARRIS: Symphony 2, mvt 2  - Madeleine Pierard (sop), Auckland Philharmonia/ Marko Letonja (Naxos 8.572574)
HARRIS: If Blood be the Price - Orpheus Choir of Wellington/ Mark Dorrell (RNZ)