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This piece was written for all the people of Regional Australia, but specifically inspired by the town and people of Longreach in Queensland.
The piece is so many things for me. It is an attempt to capture the hope and resilience that I saw in the people of Longreach and Ilfracombe; at the time of writing this work, they were enduring what was an unrelenting and devastating drought. It was my desire with this piece to capture the struggle of the long wait, but most importantly the hope I saw in the people.
The music captures, in atmosphere, the first drops of rain on long dry soil, and in emotion the joy, and relief such a moment must surely bring when it does at last come.
In a middle section of the work is also what I think of as ‘a song of farewell to Josie’. Josie was the horse of Sidoney, a wonderful resident at Pioneers Retirement Centre whom I had the opportunity to meet in Longreach. Sidoney and I spoke about Longreach, her time living there, and in particular she mentioned Josie, a beautiful horse who died in a very sad accident. I was struck by Sidoney’s words and wanted to honour the memory of Josie who was clearly a close friend.
Christopher Healey on Renewing Rain (2015)