Lima Lagu is a work for one to three recorders and sees Farr exploring the use of Indonesian scales.
The first movement, Lagu Satu, is a simple and sweet tune for solo recorder. The pace quickens in the fun second movement, Lagu Dua, with two performers providing accompaniment in the form of interlocking hand-clapped rhythms while the solo player’s melodic line traces around a mode resembling a stripped-back minor scale. A dark playfulness permeates Lagu Tiga – the pitches that constitute its near-constant semiquaver pulse shift between static and undulating, while dancing above them are the movement’s lively theme and blasts of unpredictable, squeaking accents that are passed between the two players. The idyllic Lagu Empat features a sweet cantabile melodic line, supported by an interlocking pair of semiquaver patterns. Rounding out the work is the mysterious Lagu Lima, an odd-metered canon for three players.