Seven Australians alongside a composer from New Zealand and one from Hong Kong participated in the 2009 MODART project. Nine young composers had the opportunity to spend two intensive working periods in 2009 with the singers and director of The Song Company. The project culminated in two public performances at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and at the newly opened Melbourne Recital Centre, recorded for broadcast on ABC Classic FM.
MODART09 was the 4th edition of the MODART project. The Song Company’s Artistic Director Roland Peelman commented:
'The standard and abundance of submissions for this year’s event was unprecedented. Also the stylistic diversity of the composers selected augurs well for a project full of surprises. Over the two working periods (and in between) we can really develop a creative relationship where we are all free to challenge and to respond. As happened in the past, this relationship then prompts new creative initiatives. Many seeds have been sown during MODART and 09 promises to exceed any previous edition'.
> MODART09 concerts in Melbourne and Sydney in July 2009 - read article on Resonate magazine
Work: “It’s Organic with Soy” for small choir and microphones
Amy Bastow (b. 1985) was born in a small rural town in outback Australia and began to experiment with music composition at age 15. A recent graduate from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Amy Bastow has studied composition with Michael Smetanin, Anne Boyd, Mary Finsterer and Damien Ricketson. She also gained a diploma of piano performance (AmusA) under the guidance of Daniel Herscovitch. In the near future, she will head for London to study composition at the Royal Academy of Music. Amy has written music for the Performing Australian Music Competition (London), Chronology Arts, Flip Side Strings, Scorpio Music, the Miriam Hyde Competition for Piano Composition, the Louisa Macdonald Oration (a fanfare for the Governor of NSW, Dr Marie Bashir), the University of Sydney, the Australian Youth Orchestra's Composition Programs (studying under British Film composer Joby Talbot and James Ledger), and various other chamber ensembles and soloists. Amy has also composed ‘classical’ arrangements of popular songs for a commercial release CD under the Warner Music label and has experimented with writing jazz arrangements. Amy has sung with the Sydney Conservatorium Choir, the St. Paul’s College Chapel Choir, and currently sings with the Choir of Christ Church St. Laurence. She teaches piano and musicianship at St. Andrew’s Cathedral School and at the Sydney Music Education Centre, and is a teacher and accompanist for Musicalis Australis.
> Read Amy's MODART diary
Work: Thin Skin for 3 male voices
Anthony Dunstan has studied with Nigel Butterley and Mary Finsterer and is completing a Masters of Music under a University Postgraduate Award. During his undergraduate studies, Anthony developed skills in music analysis, orchestration, electroacoustic and audiovisual composition, conducting and vocal composition. In 2008, he travelled to Amsterdam, London and New York on the ‘Dame Joan Irvine Scholarship’, meeting a number of prominent composers and young performers from the Conservatorium of Music Amsterdam, The Royal Conservatoire Den Haag, Manhattan School of Music and Julliard. He was also invited to attend Gaudeamus Week 2007 in Amsterdam. He is currently writing a Chamber Opera set in the suburbs of Mt Druitt.
> Read Anthony's MODART diary
Work: The Intoxicated Poet for 3 female voices and electronics
Melody Eötvös was born in the Southern Highlands, NSW and attended the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University, studying composition with Stephen Leek and Dr Gerardo Dirié. She began composing piano music at the age of 8, and won her first composition prize at 14. She graduated in 2005 with First Class Honours and then began her Masters in 2006 at the Royal Academy of Music, London, studying with Simon Bainbridge. Some recent past collaborations include composer/arranger/conductor for the computer console game Avatar: the Last Air Bender (released 2006 THQ), several animation film/music projects with students from the College of Arts at Griffith University, commissions for the Ulysses Ensemble (Australia), a commission for the Queensland Conservatorium Wind Orchestra (2007), Conductor for the world premiere of Shanon DW and Brad Godby's new musical ONE (2007), and a three-movement work, titled Three Pieces for the Explanation of Life for Orchestra Victoria, conducted by Richard Mills (July 2008). A significant landmark for Melody in 2008 was her participation in the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Composers' School in Hobart where her composition Attic Tragedy was workshopped and performed by the TSO under the direction of Kenneth Young.
> Read Melody's MODART diary
Work: Dream Logic for small choir
Alexandra Hay (b. 1985) is a Wellington-based composer, arranger, conductor and teacher who works with instrumental, vocal and electroacoustic media. She completed an Honours degree at the New Zealand School of Music in 2007, and spent a semester studying musicology at the Freie Universität in Berlin under a DAAD scholarship in 2006/2007. Alexandra has had works performed and workshopped by gateseven, the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Zealand String Quartet, and in 2006 she won the NZSM Composers Competition with White Rain, a work for flute and tape. In 2008 her orchestral work Bellum Nocturnis was recorded for the NZSO/Todd Corporation Young Composers Competition.
> Read Alexandra's MODART diary
Work: Goodness Gracious!
Rae Howell (also known as Sunwrae) is an Australian freelance composer and performer on piano and vibraphone. She is Artistic Director of the innovative chamber music group Sunwrae Ensemble. Sunwrae’s music fuses elaborate rhythms with minimalist themes and improvisation, and she also works as a producer and guest multi-instrumentalist (brass, percussion, vocals) crossing various genres in live performance and recording across the globe. Rae Howell works with Australian Puppet Theatre Company Peepshow Inc, Dance Ensemble State of Flux and numerous film & mixed media ventures. International collaborations include Cantilena Music in London, UK; ARENA International Theatre Festival in Germany; Musician in Residence at The Banff Centre in Alberta Canada; The Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida USA; Jazz Hall of Fame musician Sam Rivers (USA); composer/percussionist Eugene Skeef (Sth Africa/UK); and electronic recording engineer Jon Cohrs (NY, USA). Sunwrae album releases include Never Stops to Wait (2005), several live CDs and DVDs from the Eavesdropping Concert & Exhibition Series (2003-2007) and Autumn Never Fall, a live studio album due for release in 2009.
> Read Rae's MODART diary
King Pan Ng
Work: With Empty Hands; text by Mu Qian
King-pan Ng is a musician who constantly alternates his role between a composer, songwriter, arranger, conductor and keyboard player. His commissions range from concert music, installation art, electro-acoustic pieces, film scoring to music for martial art and dance productions. His works have been performed by Orchestra Victoria (Australia), Quangdong state folk orchestra (China PRC), Taipei state folk orchestra (Taiwan), Hong Kong music office, Chinese music virtuosi (Hong Kong) etc. Graduated with BMus and MMus degree (2001/03) in the University of Melbourne under the supervision of Julian Yu and Brenton Broadstock, King-pan continued his studies in Musikhogskolan i Piteå (Sweden) for a short period. In 2002, his orchestral work, Merah Putih received 3MBS Reading Australian National Composer Award while Autumn Rain and Wind Agonize Me So Much (for solo suona, san xian and chamber ensemble) was the winning composition of 2006 Tsang-Huei Hsu International Music Composition Award (ethnic category) in Taiwan. Currently, he is working on his PhD dissertation Counterpoint of Musical Styles: Tensive Music in the University of Hong Kong under the supervision of Dr. Chan Hing-yan.
Work: DoA for 5 voices
Mark Oliveiro started composing at the age of fourteen experimenting with midi, electronic and computer composition. During and after his study at the Sydney Conservatorium, Mark was affiliated with and wrote music for the Sydney Eclectic Composer Society, Sydney University Musical Society, the Singaporean Chinese Orchestra and Eclectic: Bit. In April 2006, Mark graduated with a Bachelor’s degree with first Class honours. He was also placed on the Sydney University Dean’s List of Academic excellence in 2006.
He is now pursuing his Master's degree in Composition at the Jacobs School of Music at the University of Indiana. His music has been performed in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, Germany, Eritrea, Canada and the US. From late 2007 to the present, Mark Oliveiro has been active as composer in residence at the Wells-Metz theatre in Indiana, USA.
> Read Mark's MODART diary
Work: Mirrors for 6 voices and kazoos
James Rushford (b. 1985) is a Melbourne-based composer and multi-instrumentalist, interested in a diverse range of contemporary music. Alongside concert music, he is interested in inter-media, installation and recorded mediums. In 2008, James was the recipient of the Eric & Margot Cooper Travel Scholarship and the Dowd Foundation Award, enabling him to tour overseas and work with musicians including Robert Ashley, Phill Niblock, Marcus Schmickler, Fred Frith and Michael Pisaro. He was also the recipient of the 2008 Marion and Isobel Thomas Prize, the 2007 VCA Atheneum Award, the 2004 Frank Bosch Scholarship, and has had music commissioned by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Speak! Percussion, Team of Pianists, CUSP Gallery/Chunky Move Dance Company, The Australian National Academy of Music, the Melbourne International Arts Festival (2006), and the 21:100:100 project (a collaboration with Oren Ambarchi and Marco Fusinato).
Work: Aida for small choir
Lachlan Skipworth is a Sydney-based composer, originally from Perth. He studied composition with Roger Smalley and Anne Boyd, and spent two and a half years in Japan learning Shakuhachi with Kakizakai Kaoru and revered master Yokoyama Katsuya. Skipworth was a featured composer at the 2008 World Shakuhachi Festival in Sydney. His music has been presented by Sydney's 'Chronology Arts' organisation, with whom he has also appeared as a guest conductor. In late 2009, Skipworth will spend three months in Tokyo as part of the Asialink Arts Residency Program.
The Song Company
Established in 1984, The Song Company’s repertoire covers music from the 10th century to the present day and is unique in its diversity. Directed by Roland Peelman, the group combines the most ancient of singing traditions with the most daring contemporary vocals. Committed to excellence and fresh ways of presenting music, The Song Company enjoys a reputation as one of the most outstanding vocal ensembles in the world. The Song Company is well-known for their recordings, broad educational programs, innovative theatrical work, cabaret and extensive national and international touring.
> Read more about The Song Company
For more information about the MODART composer development project, contact The Song Company at firstname.lastname@example.org