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15 January 2010

Composer notes January 2010

Cover of the <em>Fractions of Illumination</em> CD Image: Cover of the Fractions of Illumination CD  

New releases

The American Music Center's Newmusicbox web magazine has devoted a detailed review to Andrew Byrne's new CD White Bone Country. 'Shimmering and bright, the Australian-born composer's music is constantly in motion, and the consummate performers heard here convey the energy and mysteries of the music', Caroline Mallonée writes. 'It could seem ironic that water is the image that came to mind in a desert landscape, but perhaps the oasis metaphor is apt: this is an attractive CD that listeners who enjoy rhythmic interplay, bright sounds, and pattern music played well will find refreshing.'

Another new release, Fractions of Illumination - Cross-cultural music by Australian women composers, features music by Ros Bandt, Brigid Burke, Dang Kim Hien, Anne Norman and Catherine Schieve. This new CD release by Australia Asia Foundation can be ordered through the Foundation's website. Read also Warren Burt's review in his blog post 6 December.

Katia Tiutiunnik's book, The Symbolic Dimension: An Exploration of the Compositional Process, came out in December, published by the German Lambert Academic Publishing. The book is available from Amazon.com, among others.

Elsewhere on the web

An interview with David Worrall, broadcast on ABC Radio National's Bush Telegraph, is still [15 Jan] available for a short period of time as streaming audio and as a download on the ABC website. In the program, Worrall talks about his interest in bird calls and advocates the systematic collection of contemporary sounds: 'Sound creates environment for us', Worrall points out. 'A vision is something that is out there, something that is in front of us, we look at it. But with sound, we live in it. The important thing about collecting sound is that it provides an emotional essence of the situation or a time which we don't get just from the visual.'

A concert performance, in December, of Liza Lim's opera The Navigator at the Opéra National de Paris/Bastille received a 4.5-star review on the Musical Criticism website (UK). Tim Rutherford Johnson writes: 'Lim writes with seemingly limitless fecundity. From the first naked notes of the prelude, written for solo Ganassi recorder and played superbly by Genevieve Lacey, the composer's focus never drops...'. Conducted by Manuel Nawri and performed by the ELISION Ensemble, the performance formed part of the program of the Festival d'automne of Paris. Earlier in 2009, The Navigator was performed by ELISION at the Chekhov International Theatre Festival of Moscow.

ELISION ensemble has put up its own Youtube channel, with a growing selection of performance videos of works by Liza Lim, Chris Dench, John Rodgers and Timothy O'Dwyer. Featured musicians include Richard Haynes, Carl Rosman and Paula Rae, and others. Recent Youtube channels by Australian composers include a channel by Warren Burt and one by Katia Tiutiunnik. Composer Sasha Stella has also made a major solo piano work, A Tissue of Quotations, available through Youtube.

The composing blogger community has grown by at least two members. Christine McCombe's blog is 'about creating things and the space between creating things', while Warren Burt's website, including a journal section, is a colourful array of articles, sound samples, project descriptions and announcements of both professional and personal nature. Of particular interest on Burt's site are three downloadable issues of the New Music Newspaper (1977-78), available as large pdf files (a fast broadband is necessary).

Performances and awards

Andrián Pertout has been awarded 'Winner of the International Music Prizes for Excellence in Composition 2009' in Thessaloniki, Greece. In a special meeting held on 14th of December 2009, the Board of the National Academy of Music also honoured him with the title and grade of Honorary Fellow of the National Academy of Music. In 2009, Pertout also won the inaugural 2009 UnTwelve 1st Annual Composition Competition (Chicago, USA). Upcoming highlights for 2010 include four performances of Navigating the Labyrinth for string orchestra by the Orquesta de Cámara de Chile in Santiago, Chile.

A newly revised version of John Bostock's Concerto for Chamber Orchestra received its Australian premiere in the Arcko Symphonic Project concert in Richmond in December. The composer, based in Israel since 1987, travelled to Victoria for the performance. The program also included a revised version of Barry Conyngham's Concerto for harp and chamber orchestra Cloud Lines II.

Luke Styles's work Island Waltz was premiered at the end of last year in Trinidad as part of Pianorama, an event organised by the Commonwealth Resounds! This event coincided with the Commonwealth People's Forum and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings that took place in Trinidad and Tobago in November. Styles's work was performed by Men Gei Li as part of a series of 53 short piano pieces, each representing a different Commonwealth country. Further performances of the series are planned for the UK.

Vortex 1 for trombone and marimba by Paul Moulatlet was performed in December in Huddersfield, UK, by Peter Neville and Barrie Webb at University of Huddersfield's St Pauls Hall.

Borealis Brass, of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, recently toured Australia with a program consisting of works by international women composers, including world and Australian premieres and repeat performances of works by Katia Tiutiunnik.

The Australian Music Centre connects people around the world to Australian composers and sound artists. By facilitating the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these creative artists, it aims to increase their profile and the sustainability of their art form. Established in 1974, the AMC is now the leading provider of information, resources, materials and products relating to Australian new music.


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