Antipodean Henry: Gambolling on a Melody by Henry Purcell

Alan Lourens (Artist)

Research output: Non-traditional research outputCompositionpeer-review


In 2022, I travelled from my home town of Perth to Albany in Western Australia. There I was part of a whole community production of Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen – a baroque work of wit and charm, that happened in the fine Albany Entertainment centre. We did a few days of rehearsal and a couple of performances, and included professional actors and singers, university students, local high school students and members of the Noongar community from the area.

As you do, we became very familiar with the music. In particular, one song returned a number of times in the show, in a number of rehearsals over a number of days. By the final performance, I knew it well. Sing While We Trip It suited out re-setting, and is fun and quirky piece.

It was remarkable to bring this performance to light. We were performing in 2022; in a beautiful and striking hall built to remember the heritage of Albany in WA; A work written by an English composer in 1692 that still filled the hall and got laughter and applause; and featuring some performances by first nations people whose history in the region pre-dates Purcell by at least 17,000 years.

I couldn’t forget the performances, the people or the song Sing While We Trip It. I hope this piece can capture some of the energy, fun, spirit and history of that terrific time in that Henry Purcell’s work played in the Antipodes.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPerth, Western Australia
PublisherMatt Klohs Music
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2024


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