Gordon Hamilton / composer

composer / conductor

composer / conductor

Full scores downloadable. To order parts, please contact Gordon.


482 VARIATIONS ON A VERY SHORT THEME (2016)

6 min / commissioned by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Score

A brief Beatles recording plays out of a speaker... the orchestra latches onto three notes, spinning them out into 482 (extremely short!) micro variations.


THUM PRINTS (2015-6)

for beatboxer & orchestra / commissioned by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Duration: 20 min ('concerto' version); OR 60 min ('show' version)

Score | Audio Sample | Sizzle-Reel

A concerto for beatboxer and orchestra, featuring Tom Thum, a magnificently-talented dude with an inexhaustible vocal inventory of glorious and weird noises. Together we've smooshed the opposing forces of the orchestra and Tom's mouth, aiming for imaginative and surprising colours. The piece can be performed as a 20 min concerto, or as a full 60 min show. Available for chamber or full orchestra.


ACTION HERO (2016)

10 min / for orchestra and recorded Arnold Schwarzenegger, commissioned by the WDR Funkhausorchester Cologne

Score

An Arnold Schwarzenegger speech plays through a speaker. The orchestra plays along, transforming Arny into a singer, emphasising the musical qualities of his voice.


Ghosts in the Orchestra (2014)

20 min / for choir and orchestra / commissioned by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Score | Blog Post | Video Excerpt

A choir stands mysteriously among the orchestral players, issuing sung instructions. The orchestra enthusiastically complied, unrolling the commandments into bursts of sound.


FLORENCE BAY, WINTER (2017)

7 min / for string orchestra (minimum 2.2.2.2.1)

Score

A portrait of Florence Bay, Magnetic Island: the effort in getting there, especially cycling uphill (sweaty work, even in winter!)… the arc of the bay comes into view, excitement, immense freedom and peace at heart… snorkelling… gentle waves… a baby stingray… no turtles though… rock wallabies on the headland. A good day!


SYMPHONY WITH JUST ONE THEME (2016)

12 min / commissioned by the Queensland Youth Orchestra

Score | Audio Excerpt [recorded by QSO]

Each of the three movements is based on the same tune: G Db C F E G Ab. While the theme remains the same across all three movements, no actual inter-movement repetition occurs. The result is (I hope) a sparkly concert overture in three sections. The first movement, ‘Snap’ there is snap pizzicato everywhere, hopefully with minimal injury to instruments and players. Rhythmic riffs are set up, repeated and continually push into new variations, without ever revisiting previous riffs.


The Trillion Souls (2015)

25 min / for choir, soli and orchestra / commissioned by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Score | Blog Post

A symphony for marriage equality on a text by Andy West. The work quotes Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, including an inversion of the Ode to Joy theme.


Dulce et decorum est (2015)

7 min / for choir and orchestra / commissioned by The Portsmouth Grammar School for premiere by the London Mozart Players.

Score | Audio Excerpt

Based on the famous Wilfred Owen poem, the choir is a column of soldiers: ‘Bent double, like old beggars under sacks'. Their trudging and trips are low pizzicato and a bass drum. A gas attack sends them into a spiral of confusion as one man dies ‘guttering, choking, drowning.’ The piece is a an elegiac passacaglia: the same harmonic structure repeats with various changes in mood.


Natural Selections (2016)

40 min / for turntables and orchestra / commissioned by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Score Sample | Excerpt 'Birds and Frogs' | Excerpt 'Wood and Bells'

A work for turntables, projector and orchestra inspired by sounds and images of the natural world. The orchestra interacts with synchronized sound and vision, bursting through speakers and screen with, all triggered by drum pads and turntables. Featuring turntablist Sampology


The Ugly Sound: A Retelling of 'The Ugly Duckling' (2016)

7 min / for narrator and orchestra, commissioned by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

Score

A piece for a young audience. The young Sound goes through life facing rejection. All of the other sounds are more beautiful and popular! Some have rhythm, others melody and colour to make them appealing. Dejected, the Sound runs away, believing it can never fit in. Along its journey, the story helps unravel the internal structure of the Sound, allowing us to hear it from different angles. The Sound transforms into a mature version of itself… a swan! The piece is funny and uplifting – a positive message about self-image and openness to unfamiliar sounds. 


Cuban Suite (2016)

25 min / for orchestra and jazz trio / commissioned by the WDR Funkhausorchester Cologne for premiere with pianist Marialy Pacheco.

Score | Full Video Recording

Four movements for orchestra and jazz trio, based on tunes by Cuban pianist Marialy Pacheco.