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2 March 2011

Composer & performer news - March 2011

'Daniel Walker commented on his own status', sing The Australian Voices in Gordon Hamilton's <em>Facebook Song</em> Image: 'Daniel Walker commented on his own status', sing The Australian Voices in Gordon Hamilton's Facebook Song  

Our regular news bulletin from the composing/performing world - featuring Cat Hope and the Decibel ensemble, David Lumsdaine, Ian Munro, Lee Bracegirdle, Topology and ELISION, among others. [Updated 31 March]

New releases

The NMC record label has just released a CD of David Lumsdaine's major work Big Meeting. This sound collage was recorded in 1971 at the Durham Miners' Gala, an annual get-together celebrating the coal mining heritage of the region. The recording can be purchased (as a download or as a CD) on the NMC website - see also the CD information on the AMC website. Another recent Lumsdaine release is White Dawn - songs and soundscapes by David Lumsdaine from M├ętier Records. More information about this CD is available on the AMC website and the Divine Art Records website

Works by Cat Hope and Lindsay Vickery are featured on a new album Disintegration: Mutation by the Decibel new music ensemble, released by hellosQuare. Decibel aims at 'creating new music that seeks to dissolve boundaries of composition, improvisation and sound art whilst seeking to recognise electronics as instruments in their own right with a place in the acoustic, and performative, space.' The ensemble, directed by Hope, has three concerts scheduled for 2011 - for details of the 28 March concert at PICA, see the AMC calendar.

The Queensland-based Topology, now for the first time a recipient of triennial state government funding, started their 2011 season by launching their CD Difference Engine at Brisbane Powerhouse in February, with other launch concerts to follow. In April, Topology will collaborate with The Australian Voices, and in May, the ensemble is headed for the Singapore Arts Festival together with the Melbourne trio Loops, to perform their 'Airwaves' collaboration as well as individual shows.

Residencies & appointments

Musica Viva's featured composer for 2011 is Ian Munro, four of whose compositions will be featured during Musica Viva's international concert season. The Eggner Trio will perform Munro's Tales of Old Russia (2008); the Brentano String Quartet will play his String Quartet No. 1 (2009); the Goldner Quartet with Munro himself as pianist will premiere a new piano quintet, commissioned for Musica Viva by Julian Burnside AO QC. Another new work, Clarinet Quintet (Songs from the Bush, 2010), will be performed by Sabine Meyer and the Modigliani String Quartet. See also: Musica Viva's featured composer website.

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra has appointed a new chief conductor and artistic director: Marko Letonja will commence his duties in January 2012. 'We are fortunate to be able to follow the Sebastian Lang-Lessing era with another international conductor and are looking forward to Marko taking the TSO to the next stage of its development', said the TSO Chairman Geoff Willis.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's newly appointed Associate Conducter is Benjamin Northey. The Ballarat-born Northey will take up the newly created position of Patricia Riordan Associate Conductor Chair of the MSO for a period of three years.

Lee Bracegirdle has been invited to be a composer-in-residence in the Brahms house in Baden-Baden in April next year. The residency program is organised by the Brahms Society of Germany, with funds from the Federal Government of Germany.

Concerts & festivals

The ELISION ensemble continued its series of concerts at London's new Kings Place concert centre with an all-Ferneyhough prograon on 7 March. The ensemble's Ferneyhough CD was recently listed by The Sunday Times among the ten best contemporary CDs for 2010. Later in March, ELISION was heard in Melbourne, where the audience was treated to a selection of repertoire by both composers with a long-standing association with ELISION and composers involved with the ensemble for the very first time. Also included in the program was a large-scale electroacoustic work codex ix, a collaboration with members of RMIT's Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory. Full details of the Iwaki Auditorium free concert are available on the AMC online Australian Music Calendar.

Brisbane's new music scene sports a new festival - UNDER_SCORED was a three-concert event, 'a micro-festival of new and improvised music', bringing together many of Brisbane's new music practitioners, from Clocked Out Duo to Janet McKay, John Addison, Timothy Tate and Nicholas Ng, and others. For concert details, see the AMC's Australian Music Calendar: concert 1 (19 March), concert 2 and concert 3 (20 March).

New on Youtube

Those interested in finding out what exactly goes on at Australian Youth Orchestra's famous National Music Camps can now watch a number of videos of this year's camp on Youtube. The video of the day ten, for example, features two of this year's participating young composers, Michael Bakrnchev and Samantha Wolf, whose composition tutor on the National Music Camp in January was Paul Stanhope.

A lecture by Andrew Schultz 'The minor fall and the major lift - music, power and the composer's black art' is also available on Youtube. Schultz's lecture was delivered in October 2010 as part of the UNSW Faculty of Art and Social Sciences' 'So What?' lecture series.

Youtube video of Gordon Hamilton's Toy Story 3 = awsome (aka 'The Facebook Song'), performed by The Australian Voices, had by the beginning of March attracted over 19,000 viewers. For some background to this video, see also the related Sydney Morning Herald article.

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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