I must admit that I am a passionate fan of the poet, Judith Wright, who spent much of her time as a social activist campaigning for Aboriginal land rights. Her work is grounded in the distinctive landscape of her native Australia and her writings are so full of colour and imagery that they lend themselves ideally to being set to music. In Bora Ring, Wright grieves the loss of the culture and traditions of Aboriginal Australians.
Bora rings are circular formations found in south-east Australia. They comprise circles of foot-hardened earth surrounded by raised embankments. Bora rings generally appear in pairs with a larger circle connected to a smaller one by a straight path. The rings were an integral part of Australian Aboriginal culture as the site used in the tribal initiation ceremonies whereby the boys of the tribe passed into manhood.
This setting of Bora Ring was composed for the Queensland Youth Choir as part of its concert presentations at “Festival 500”, in St John’s, Canada in 2003.