The Warlpiri people of Central Australia tell a story about a great rainstorm that travelled across part of their country, creating the features of the landscape, the plants, animals and people as it went.
Parardi (the Warlpiri word for rainbow) is a response to this story. The opening section is slow, with rather disembodied fragments of melody and rhythm - the calm, as it were, before the storm. The central section is fast and violent, with lots of irregular metres (bars of 5/16 and 7/16 for instance), ‘scrubbing’ on the viola and use of the percussive lower register of the piano. The final section is a transformation of the first, as you might expect in a (rainbow) arch-form: this time the fragments have turned into fully fledged melodies.
Parardi was equal winner of the Bernard Shore Prize Awarded by the Royal Over-Seas League, London in 1988. It was first performed by Marco van Pagee and Stephen McIntyre at the Melbourne Spoleto Festival in 1989.