The Thousand Steps (2014)
The Thousand Steps is a musical impression of the well-known memorial climb in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, and has been created by Melbourne composer David Keeffe as a commission from the Maroondah Symphony Orchestra to mark its 50th anniversary. In this ten-minute piece, we find depictions of today’s enthusiastic walkers, briefly leaving their city life behind to meet the challenge of the steep path, we find images of those who fought and suffered in New Guinea in 1942, and we find allusions to the music the orchestra has played over the years.
The composer writes:
“I wanted to compose a work that was very engaging for both players and listeners, and which had a distinct local relevance, yet was still contemporary in style. You will find hints of familiar tunes – especially to Melburnians – and important links to the memorial path itself. And I always kept in mind that for the orchestra, this is a celebration, so while there are quiet periods, the overall impression is of energy and movement, leading to a triumphal chorale and heroic ending.”
50th Anniversary Commission