Natural Selections is a work for turntables, projector and orchestra inspired by sounds and images of the natural world.Read More
Tom and I were super pumped to perform Thum Prints at the BBC Proms Australia with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at Hamer Hall, Melbourne. This was the QSO's first performance outside of QLD in its entire history. A big deal! The concert was live across Australia on ABC Classic FM and delayed on BBC.Read More
Last year I interviewed renowned theatre and opera director Peter Sellars while he was in Brisbane for his new dance theatre show FLEXN. I asked him about music and audiences.
This work for orchestra and choir is a setting of the famous Wilfred Owen WW1 poem. The choir is a column of soldiers: ‘Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge’. A gas attack sends them into a spiral of confusion as one man dies ‘guttering, choking, drowning.’ The organ only enters near the end, after the man has died, and a solo soprano (an ‘innocent tongue’) sings the titular text in latin. Of course its meaning – ‘sweet and noble it is to die for country – is intended to be scathing and ironic. The organ music sounds deformed: a sunken instrument in some bombed out church nearby – only “half beautiful”.Read More
The T’ang – with their fresh approach to programming and interpretation – have an expanded vision of the string quartet.Read More
Purchase the score to Baby Shark. Sung here by The Australian Voices at Hobart Festival of Voices.Read More
For Suzie Miller’s adaptation of Euripides’ Medea (produced by La Boite Theatre Company and directed by Todd MacDonald), the team and I have taken an exciting creative leap and incorporated a completely-sung ‘Greek' Chorus. I’ve plucked four singers from the ranks of my vocal ensemble The Australian Voices.Read More
The work is Thum Prints, and the beatboxer is Tom Thum, a magnificently-talented dude with an inexhaustible vocal inventory of glorious and weird noises.Read More
I’m pretty excited about this… The Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) are apparently letting me have another go at them. I composed a piece for them this year called Ghosts in the Orchestra, where I get a bunch of singers from my choir The Australian Voices (TAV) to stand among the orchestral players and sing instructions at them. The instructions get unrolled into little symphonic miniatures.Read More
This story is really weird....
Berlioz was so obsessed with Harriet Smithson that he wrote her a symphony. She married him, only after hearing a Symphony he composed for a second(!) woman he was obsessed with.
This is a little radio thing I made.
Here's an article I wrote for the ABC Classic 2 Tumblr. Have you ever wondered why your singing sounds so good in the shower, but when you belt out an aria in front of friends, a stranger’s voice emerges? Where did the charismatic, full tone disappear to? Why do we sound better in the buff? Here are four reasons.Read More
Every now and then a piece of music comes along that makes me think of a familiar instrument in a different way. After a nutritious education of orthodox piano training I was introduced to Messiaen's piano – an avery, organ, orchestra and religious object all rolled up together.
Joby Talbot's hour-long choral work Path of Miracles recently shocked me out of a humdrum attitude toward the choir (goddammit lots of choral music can be predictable and boring).Read More
Strauss is seen as bridging the late romantic and early modern eras. His daringly-orchestrated tone poems and operas are central to the repertoire and he played a crucial role in the post-Wagnerian development of opera. His progressive harmonic palate and expanded tonality remain strikingly-modern even today.Read More