The essence of one of Australia's finest lawyers, foundation dean of law at the University of Wollongong, and respected judge has been immortalised through music at the request of his beloved.
Jack Goldring passed away from cancer in 2009, but his wit and creativity has been transcribed into the orchestral piece "Cinque Forme d'Amore" (meaning Five Kinds of Love) by Elena Kats-Chernin, which was commissioned by his partner of 16 years, Susan Kirby.
The piece will have its world premiere by Steel City Strings this month, and can be heard at their Wollongong Town Hall concert on March 6.
"I miss him a lot, as you do, and we always used to go to concerts ... music was always part of his life and mine as well," said Dr Kirby.
"After he died I heard a radio interview with Julian Burnside, that human rights lawyer ... and he was saying that he commissioned a piece of music and said 'people should do this more, it's not that much money, it helps musicians, helps composers, it gives music to the world'. I thought 'oh, what a great thing to do'."
It only cost around $1000 per minute and "lives on forever".
Renowned pianist and composer Kats-Chernin initially met with Dr Kirby and her friends several times to better understand the sort of person her partner was.
"We'd sit around and tell stories about Jack, laugh a lot and have a few wines," Dr Kirby said. "In that way I think she got a good feel for him."
The composition went back and forth for some time, with more adjustments at rehearsals, before the finished piece was ready four years later.
"It's very special when somebody wants a piece in memory of someone they loved," said Kats-Chernin. "There is something beautifully romantic about it. In one way, it helps one heal - the person who lost someone - it helps people who listen to the piece, maybe, who lost someone as well in the audience."
Dr Kirby loves telling the story of how the couple originally met, when they were awkward teenagers in a ballroom dancing class.
"I was 15 and he was 16, we were both such terrible dancers we were in the beginners [class] and we used to tread on each other's feet," she said.
The young teen thought her dance partner's "heavy breathing" was a sign he fancied her, but it turned out he was an asthmatic.
Despite this, they kept in touch over the years and reconnected when the judge was appointed Dean of Law at UOW during the 1990's.
"I feel it's a great privilege to be able to commission a piece of music and give it to the public," the Austinmer resident said. "I'm really excited but very emotional I suppose. I'm really looking forward to it with joy and that feeling of 'oh, I wish he was here'."
Steel City Strings perform at Wollongong Town Hall on March 6. More information and tickets via: https://steelcitystrings.com.au
Other works include 'Nothing is Forever' by Matthew Hindson, Ann Carr-Boyd's lively 'Fandango', Moya Henderson's spiritual Aboriginal themes in 'The Dreaming: Utterly Sacred: In Honour of 40,000 Years'; Andrew Ford's evocative, sparkling 'Bright Shiners', and 'Blue Poles' (from The Manhattan Epiphanies); and the sublime and deeply moving 'Elegy in Memoriam Rupert Brooke' by Frederick Septimus Kelly.
Led by Chief Conductor Luke Spicer and Artistic Director Kyle Little, the not-for-profit orchestra provides performing and professional development opportunities for musicians in the South Coast and Southern Highlands as orchestra members and as soloists.