“When Helen approached me to write a piece for her for inclusion on this CD, and mentioned she had various harps at her disposal, I immediately thought that writing a piece for a smaller harp with a distinctive sound would be nice, as well as a challenge, creatively speaking. After a session or two of long-distance strumming down the phone line to Malaysia, I decided on using Helen's wire strung lapharp, attracted as I was to the slightly smudgy sound it produced, which I thought might conjure up various imaginative possibilities. The three-octave wire strung harp has no ability to change pitch (apart from tuning), which meant I was constrained in terms of both range and choice of pitches. I chose a seven-note asymmetric scale of C sharp, D, E flat, F, G, A flat and B which allowed me to reference the various tonal centres which freely circulate throughout the piece. The title ’Valse Oubliee’ alludes to Liszt's piano pieces of the same name and translates as 'Forgotten Waltz'. Out of the various melodic fragments heard at the beginning of the piece the performer, as though improvising, tries to recreate her 'valse oubliee', perhaps trying to hold on to the fast vanishing memories of an unrequited love, or love lost.”
Ross Carey is a composer and pianist. Born in Lower Hutt, he is a graduate from Victoria University of Wellington and Elisabeth Music University in Hiroshima, where he majored in composition. Since July 2010 Ross has been lecturing in the Faculty of Music at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) in Shah Alam, Malaysia. Ross' works have been performed both in New Zealand and abroad. An earlier piece dedicated to Helen Webby, September Song (2000) was premiered at University of Canterbury while Ross was Mozart Fellow at the University of Otago. A recent achievement was the premiere of The Kate Kelly Song Cycle at the first Kilari-Lachlan River Arts Festival in Forbes, Central West New South Wales in September 2011. A collaboration with writer Merrill Findlay and soprano Sian Prior, this celebrated the life of the sister of Australia's folk legend Ned Kelly beside the very lake where she was found drowned. As a performer Ross performs both contemporary and classical repertoire,and has played in Australasia, SE Asia, Japan and China, notably at the International Alliance of Women in Music Congress in Beijing in 2008.