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Paul Cutlan : Associate Artist

Cutlan's composing work - connected to his creativity as an improviser - spans many styles: contemporary classical music, world music and jazz.

Random Audio Sample: Merge/Emerge : for string quartet by Paul Cutlan, from the CD Composed noise

Photo of Paul Cutlan

Photo: Camille Walsh

Artist website: http://paulcutlan.com

Cutlan's uniquely expressive voice as a multi-instrumentalist and composer is informed by many styles, including contemporary classical music, world music and jazz.

He graduated from the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music in 1987 with Honours in Composition. His orchestral experience includes the Tasmanian and Sydney Symphony Orchestras and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. Compositions of this period include his Bassoon Concerto, premiered by Janet Mitchell with the Tasmanian Conservatorium Orchestra and Triumph of Justice, a choral work commissioned by Mount Carmel College in Hobart.

Cutlan has performed with many jazz/improvising groups committed to presenting original Australian music, including Jann Rutherford, Original Otto Orchestra, Ten Part Invention, Judy Bailey, Steve Hunter's Nine Lives, Craig Scott Quintet, Clarion Fracture Zone, Greening from Ear to Ear, GEST8 and Wanderlust. International acts with whom he has performed include Lou Reed, Bobby Previte, Jim McNeely, Jerry Lewis and Michael Bublé.

Cutlan is a long-standing member of the Australian Art Orchestra and ARIA-winning world-music band MARA! With these groups he has recorded numerous CDs and frequently tours Europe, North America, Mexico and Asia.

He composed and performed for the acclaimed theatre production Birth of the Cool for the Sydney Festival, with subsequent seasons in Edinburgh and Germany.

Recent performances include Sydney and New York seasons of Diary of a Madman, featuring Geoffrey Rush, concerts with Gurrumul and the SSO, his acting debut in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead for Sydney Theatre Company, 'Timeline' with Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Presets, and 'Musify Gamify' with Ensemble Offspring.

Since completing his Master's Degree in composition at Sydney Conservatorium, Cutlan has developed a close working relationship with the string quartet the NOISE. For them, he composed the Across the Top Suite, for woodwind soloist, string quartet and double bass, inspired by the landscape of the Kimberley, Western Australia, and premiered for the New Music Network. The focus of this music is a synergy between through-composed music and the spontaneity of improvised elements.

Continuing this direction he wrote a new work for the viola da gamba consort Seaven Teares and bass clarinet, commission by Ars Musica Australis, as well as the string quartet Merge/Emerge, commissioned for the album Composed NOISE.

2014 saw the premiere of Affirmations, commissioned by Aurora New Music Festival, which featured didjeridu artist Mark Atkins, bass recorder virtuoso Alicia Crossley and electronic cello specialist Oliver Miler. A new commission, written for Jenny Eriksson, has just been recorded for future release. Scored for viola da gamba and harpsichord, Spinning Forth is an exploration of Baroque fortspinnung style, with references to minimalism, folk style and archaic counterpoint.

2015 saw the premiere of Nock on Effect, given by iconic Australian jazz outfit Ten Part Invention, as well as the release of Cutlan's debut CD as leader and composer Across the Top on Tall Poppies.

Paul Cutlan — current to January 2016

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Spinning forth : suite for viola da gamba and harpsichord (2014) Commissioned by Jennifer Eriksson, Philip Pogson.
Digital sheet music sample Affirmations (trios: recorder, didjeridu, cello) (2014) Commissioned by Aurora Festival with funds provided by APRA, Blacktown Arts Centre.
Merge/Emerge : for string quartet (2013) Commissioned by The NOISE string quartet, for inclusion in their CD Composed NOISE.
Times past : for bass clarinet and viol consort (2012) Commissioned by Ars Musica Australis, Rev. Dr Arthur Bridge.
Digital sheet music sample Bomb (dramatic music) (2002) Commissioned by Ideas Australia, for 'Birth of the Cool', for the Sydney Festival 2003
Digital sheet music sample Triumph of justice : a setting of Psalm 72, for high voices in two parts and instrumental ensemble (1988) Commissioned by the Mt Carmel College (Hobart, Tasmania) for the occasion of their Inaugural Night, 1988.

Analysis & Media

- Video: Perhaps next time