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Elwyn Dennis : Associate Artist

His music is informed by his general artistic and philosophical belief in a primitive reality, free of restrictive cultural and sensory lenses.

Random Audio Sample: Song from Indonesian by Elwyn Dennis, from the CD Songs from language

Photo of Elwyn Dennis

Artist website: http://www.elwyndennis.com


Painter, sculptor, poet, architect, composer and performer, Clayton Elwyn Dennis was born in Los Angeles, California, on 10th August, 1941. He completed tertiary studies at both the University of Redlands and UC Berkeley, before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English Literature, from UC Long Beach in 1965.

Having longed to travel, and with an interest in South East Asia, Dennis migrated to Australia shortly after graduating and settled in Melbourne. His fascination with Australia's natural environment gained expression in his diverse artistic endeavours: sculpture, painting, drawing and architecture.

In 1968 Dennis took up the position of Curator of Sculpture and Ethnic Art at the National Gallery of Victoria. Between 1971 and 1995 he worked as a lecturer in sculpture and other academic positions at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne, Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education, and Ballarat University.

Dennis's interest in music emerged only in his forties, as he sought to expand his modes of artistic expression. Following initial advice from Warren Burt, Dennis immersed himself in synthesizers and electronic music. His musical interests and influences are diverse and without prejudice; the bush in particular plays a significant role in his compositional inspiration. His music displays a strong connection to the natural world, and is informed by his general artistic and philosophical belief in a primitive reality which is free of restrictive cultural and sensory lenses. For Dennis, music is a means for relating to and experiencing these natural structures.

Much of Dennis's music is electroacoustic in nature, using non-traditional notation and involving the interplay of acoustic instruments, voice and synthesizer. His works have been performed and recorded by artists such as Sarah Hopkins, Warren Burt, and Jeannie Marsh. His music has received numerous broadcasts on ABC Radio's The Listening Room, and has featured on two of this programme's commercial CD releases: Double Exposures and Gamma.

Elwyn Dennis lives with his partner, the artist Anne Davis, near Victoria's Grampian Ranges.

Biography provided by the composer — current to May 2006