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Genevieve Memory : Pedagogical Artist

If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be ‘melodist’ – soaring, lyrical melodies are the trademark of my work.

Random Audio Sample: Two Songs about Purling Brook : For unison or SA choir, piano, celesta, glockenspiel, vibraphone and chimes by Genevieve Memory, from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 120.

Photo of Genevieve Memory

Photo: Terry Memory

Genevieve Memory (formerly Ketels, b. 1969 Brisbane) is a composer, visual artist, curator and arts writer with a background in choral conducting, classroom music education and languages. She holds a Bachelor of Music (Music Education) from the University of Queensland (1990) and a Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting) with Distinction from Griffith University (2019).

Genevieve's early musical influences were wide and included church music, Beethoven symphonies, Delibes ballet music, Chopin nocturnes, Hollywood musicals of the Golden Age, and ABBA. Later influences included J S Bach, jazz, world music and minimalism. She trained in piano and double bass, participating in community, school and university orchestras, concert bands, jazz bands, choirs and the University of Southern Queensland gamelan.

As a newly qualified secondary school classroom music teacher, Genevieve looked first to the Dalcroze and then the Kodaly approaches to music education to enrich her pedagogy. She undertook a period of study at the Jacques Dalcroze Institute in Geneva, Switzerland (1992), and trained and later taught in the Kodaly-based Clayfield School of Music. This further training allowed Genevieve to teach from Preparatory to Year 12 at Clayfield College, St Peters Lutheran College and Brisbane Montessori School.

Genevieve began composing while at school and gave her first public performance of an original composition at age 15. Her university composition tutors included Colin Brumby, Robert Boughen and Philip Bracanin. At the Jacques Dalcroze Institute, she took classes in piano improvisation which complimented her more traditional Australian musical training.

Genevieve's composition practice evolved organically when she began teaching, writing music as required to suit the needs of her students and choristers. Her works are scored for choir in various voicings, solo piano, solo flute, solo voice, cello and piano accompaniment, percussion ensemble, small mixed ensemble, and recorder consort. Genevieve's compositional style ranges from contemporary art music, minimalism, neo-romanticism, and medieval dance music through to folk and popularist anthems and ballads. Discernible commonalities across the work are user-friendly, singable, memorable melodies and strong harmonic foundations.

Career highlights for Genevieve include winning the Melbourne Women's Choir Call for Scores with Sleep and Dreams (2003) and being commissioned to write the massed choir piece for the Victorian choral festival Come To The Music (2019). Genevieve's compositions have been performed around Australia by school and community groups, with Wishing for the Cloths of Heaven a favourite at weddings and Two Songs about Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah a popular eisteddfod choice.

Genevieve Memory — current to January 2021