Peter Sculthorpe is an exceptional figure in modern classical music. His music resembles the landscape and culture of Australia. Peter Sculthorpe's music continues to be one of the most unique and original artistic replies of any Non-Indigenous artist to Australia's natural environment. His perception of the vastness and fragility of the continent's climate was deeply implanted in its artist makeup, not without a subtle note of irony—his appreciation for the experience of its conventional owners.
Sculthorpe was a devoted town native, who spent much of his time in the Sydney suburb of Woollahra, surrounded by a pleasant garden of camels and potted bamboo, though none of the gums his earlier music so delicately evokes, in particular. He was still happiest to be home while he flew, in Australia or abroad, and he did his musical expeditions at his work desk and piano, across the Australian Outback and Northern Tropics, and across the Pacific Rim, submerged himself in the distinct indigenous cultures of these areas, in the most imaginary and artistic context. He was able to deal with the alienating yet enriching reality of becoming an Australian of the 20th century in his strange troubled home rather than with the remainder of his daily life, the music (which he considered invigorating), or satisfying the requirements of his compositions.
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