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29 September 2008

Composer notes - September 2008

Five years worth of work by Anthony Pateras has just been released on CD. Image: Five years worth of work by Anthony Pateras has just been released on CD.  

Composer news

Australian music and its representations of indigenous culture were a central topic in the Opera Indigene conference at Kings College, London, at the end of September. Composer Anne Boyd gave a paper titled To Didj or Not to Didj - Exploring indigenous representation in Australian music theatre works by Margaret Sutherland and Andrew Schultz. Andrew Schultz's work was also the topic of Fiona Richards's paper. Michael Halliwell talked about postcolonial opera and Richard Meale's Voss, while William Lane's paper was about representations of indigenous culture in contemporary Australian opera, with Gordon Kerry's Ingkata as an example.

Andrián Pertout was recently acknowledged as an Honorary Fellow at the Faculty of Music, University of Melbourne. His latest commission – a new solo piano work for Michael Kieran Harvey, commissioned by Julian Burnside QC – is scheduled for its premier performance at the Tasmanian Conservatorium on October 3rd. Other events in October include the performance of La flor en la colina for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano at Hong Kong City Hall Theatre as part of the Musicarama 2008 Festival, as well as performances of Bhuwana Agung for soprano, saxophone and gamelan orchestra by the University of Hong Kong Gamelan Orchestra.

In between composing and organising The Australian Voices Festival, Stephen Leek has been busy travelling – first he and The Australian Voices went on tour of California in February as guests of the American Choral Directors Association. Then he took part in the Latvian Kamer choir's extensive and international World Sun Songs project along with 16 other composers, including Peteris Vasks, John Tavener, Ko Matsushita and Urmas Sisask. After Latvia, he travelled to Graz, Austria, as a jury member of the World Choir Games, and then onwards to Copenhagen for the World Choral Symposium.

Andrew Ford's forthcoming premiere, A Singing Quilt, is a community-inspired work involving recorded oral history from the NSW Southern Highlands, singers from numerous amateur choirs in the area, as well as the Canberra-based percussion ensemble DRUMatiX. The premiere, conducted by Ford, will take place on November 1st in Bundanoon, NSW. Andrew Ford is currently composing a chamber opera Rembrandt's Wife to a libretto by Sue Smith (of the Bastard Boys fame) for the Victorian Opera's 2009 season.

Brenton Broadstock, Julian Yu and William Barton cooperated recently by writing the music for the Oceania section of the Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony. Read Julian Yu's blog post about the experience.

New releases

Five years worth of work by Anthony Pateras is now available on CD. The recording (on Tzadik label) features performances with some of his long-time collaborators, including Natasha Anderson, Erkki Veltheim, the Ear Massage Percussion Quartet, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Pateras himself is either playing or conducting on all the tracks. More information about the CD.

A new 2-CD set of Ros Bandt's compositions has been released by Sonic Gallery. The music on the Isobue CD is inspired by the 'isobue', the sea whistle by the Japanese Ama women free divers and their care for the deep sea environment. Phillip Houghton's Two Night Movements (1990) and Elena Kats-Chernin's Character Interludes for flute and guitar are included on a new Move Records CD, d'aujourdhui (of today) by Zoë Black and Daniel McKay. These CDs are currently available at the AMC Shop.

Ross Edwards's Piano Trio (1998) is available on a new CD by the NZTrio, the ensemble-in-residence at The University of Auckland. The CD also includes works by Gillian Whitehead, Toru Takemitsu and Bright Sheng. More information about the CD.

Jon Rose's and Glenn Weyant's video and sound work King David's Wall is available on YouTube, complete with a guest performance by the U.S. Border Patrol. For more information about the Music from the Sonoran Fence project, see the website.

Colin Black's new work Soundprints: The Prague Pressings had its premiere broadcast in Czech Radio’s Radiocustica program at the end of September. The program is available as podcast download on the program's website.

Jim Denley has made his soundscape Alone at Undara available on ABC's social networking site Pool. Pool is also hosting content by This is Not Art and Electrofringe (2-6 October, Newcastle) festival participants.

Prizes and competitions

Daniel Blinkhorn's work jeu fabriqué has won one of the three prizes in the 2008 Música Viva electroacoustic composition competition in Portugal. The other two winners were George Dennis (UK) and Jason L. Bolte (US). Blinkhorn and Dominik Karski were also finalists in the Citta di Udine international contemporary music contest in Italy.

Melbourne-based composer Douglas Gibson was awarded the second prize for his work Essence in the inaugural Shakuhachi Chamber Music International Prize 2008. The first prize went to Derrik Jordan (USA). The works will be performed in a concert at Melba Hall (University of Melbourne) on December 13th.


As a national service organisation, the Australian Music Centre is dedicated to increasing the profile and sustainability of Australian composers and other creative artists. The AMC facilitates the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these artists through: composer and other creative artist representation and assistance; resonate – its online magazine; library and retail services; sheet music publishing; and the management, administration and publication of project-based initiatives. Its library collection holds over 30,000 items by more than 500 artists.


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