The Australian Voices turn 20
Friday 13 December, 6:30-8:00pm
Queensland Conservatorium, Grey St, Southbank
Ian Hanger Recital Hall
For twenty years, the engine behind The Australian Voices has been a dedication to Australian composers. Several composers' careers are tangled up with The Australian Voices: Stephen Leek, Joe Twist, Dan Walker and Paul Stanhope wrote some of their most-loved and recognisable music for recent generations of this group.
I want to pay tribute to the two past artistic leaders of The Australian Voices, Graeme and Stephen, each superb musicians who made their enduring marks on the ensemble's sound, and on the wider scene of contemporary music.
Since the beginning of TAV, a crucial focus for many composers has been the Australian landscape. Leek’s landscape works of the early 90s, such as Wirijndji (from Great Southern Spirits, 1993) changed the nature of choral music and influenced a generation of young composers. Many works examine other aspects of physical nature, such as Dan Walker’s Sea Children (2000) – awash with ocean colours and faint nostalgia for childhood – and Atherton’s Namatjira (1996), a rhythmic mediation on the famous artist and his style.
At this concert we’ll present several very new works including Callum Kennedy’s The Cicada’s Cry (2013) – the result of a composer-development project in conjunction with Queensland Conservatorium – and my Greek Lyrics, commissioned by former singer Alex Harper.
I’ve programmed some of my favourite pieces from the back catalogue. Former singers might join us at strategic moments! It remains a stupendous joy to work with these remarkable young artists whose dedication has allowed a clearly defined sound and artistic purpose to transcend time and personnel. Together we craft the sound, one bar onto the next… Happy Birthday, troops!