Gordon Hamilton / composer

composer / conductor

composer / conductor

'The Ugly Sound' – art competition w/ TSO & ABC Education

This is so cool! Thanks to the mighty Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and ABC Education! There is an art competition around my piece ‘The Ugly Sound’, based on the Ugly Duckling story. I‘m so excited to see what students and schools create around this!

Read the competition rules and submit entries here.

The Ugly Sound is a re-imagining of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ for orchestra and narrator, in which all the characters are sounds, not animals! The Ugly Sound goes through life facing rejection. All of the other sounds are more beautiful and popular: some have rhythm, others melody, harmony and colour which make them appealing. Dejected, the Ugly Sound runs away, believing it can never fit in. Along its journey, the story helps unravel the internal features of the sound, letting us hear it from different angles. The Ugly Sound transforms into a beautiful, mature version of itself… a swan! The piece contains a positive message about self-esteem and openness to unfamiliar sounds. 

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View the score

View the score | Hire parts – – hp. 1pc. – narrator – str. (

Music by Gordon Hamilton. Words by Gordon Hamilton and Tali Kellam-Pearson.

Commissioned by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

The above recording is the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gregory Stephens with narrator Bryony Geeves.