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Ben was commissioned to write a series of songs for the Sydney Children’s Choir in 2010 based on works from the Art Gallery of NSW. He writes about the process of writing this song: “So, obviously,” I thought, “I should write a piece based on ‘Train No. 1’ (by Daniel Crooks) and it will be all rhythmic, full of forward motion and clickety-clack train noises.” I wrote that song about 20 times, each time more cliched than the last, going balder by the minute. Here’s the conundrum: the artwork doesn’t bring out that rhythmic sense in me. Instead, the image and the soundtrack wash over me, creating a trance-like kind of calm. Maybe the train provides constancy in our routine? When I realised that, I was sitting in an extremely dark orchestra pit. I liked that idea. Thank goodness. Clickety-clack noises are just not my style.
Treble Unison with piano