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Thomas Misson : Associate Artist

Misson’s music is informed by psychology, particularly social psychology, sometimes in the political realm. These fields grapple with omnipresent imperfection and this music behaves analogously through the abstraction of familiar musical constructs and genres including Classical, Metal, and Jazz Fusion.

Photo of Thomas Misson

Photo: Cameron Jamieson

Thomas Misson's eclectic works intend to behave as a human's inner world might, admitting everything our minds suggest to our conscious selves into its reach with the goal of maximal expressive immediacy. He considers Ligeti, Dutilleux, electronic music producer Phonon, Xenakis, and Ustvolskaya among his primary influences.

Some works examine the potential consequences of our psyche's excesses at a confronting and claustrophobic distance. Piano Sonata (2017) charts a journey from affection, through infatuation, numbness, and violence, to grotesque bliss expressing the "unburdening" of one's moral and ethical impulses.

By contrast, Infinite Affinities (2023) for String Quartet celebrates the diversity of thought around music that fulfills physically and mentally cathartic roles, ranging from ambient influences to the harsh purging influences of death metal, to the complex yet contradictorily intuitive grooves of recent jazz fusion trends.

Misson graduated with a BMus (Hons 1) from UTAS in 2016 under the tutelage of Dr Maria Grenfell, Scott McIntyre, and Russell Gilmour before achieving a full scholarship-funded MMus (Hons 1) at the University of Melbourne under Elliot Gyger and Katy Abbott, winning an MRC Commission Award in the process. He's also been fortunate to receive the tutelage of Ken Thomson, Yannis Kyriakides, Melody Eötvös and Matthew Hindson.

His music has been commissioned and performed by groups, individuals, and organizations including Musica Viva Australia, Affinity Quartet, Garrick Ohlsson, Flinders Quartet, Ensemble Offspring, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective as featured on the ABC Album Hush 18 "Collective Wisdom", as well as overseas as part of the 2020 USF International New Music Festival. He has also received a Highly Commended Prize in the Jean Bogen Youth Prize and broadcasts from ABC Classic FM, the Sound Barrier, and Making Waves.

He is also an experienced pianist and accompanist, a recipient of an LmusA with Distinction, numerous open prizes from the Hobart Eisteddfod including the Nelle Ashdown Memorial Award, a concerto soloist, and has repetiteured and performed with Virtuosi Tasmania, Lotte Betts Dean, Zoy Frangos, and Ben Oxley.

Informed by his background in music journalism working for publications CutCommon and The Mercury, he co-runs a YouTube channel called 2 Composers 1 Channel, which focuses on communicating the world of contemporary music in a plain-spoken manner free from musical jargon wherever possible. This ethos informs his current teaching role at UTAS as a theory and composition teacher and in the Tasmanian private and public school system.

Thomas Misson — current to August 2023

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2016 Jean Bogan Prize for Piano Composition Highly Commended (Youth Prize) Saturday Night Tuberculosis

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Convocations : for solo piano (2023) Commissioned by Musica Viva Australia as part of their 2023 season.
Digital sheet music sample Infinite Affinities : for string quartet (2023) Commissioned by Melbourne Recital Centre.