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Stephen Gard : Associate Artist

I wish music always to be a force that rejoices in life and what it offers, instead of resenting it.

Random Audio Sample: On this day by Stephen Gard, from the CD Sydney Symphony Orchestra 2000, Education Program, K-12.

Photo of Stephen Gard

Photo: Stephen Gard

Stephen Gard writes; words and music. His books can be found in most Australian libraries, and his music has been heard on stage, on screen, on radio, and in the concert hall. Self-taught, and self-employed, Gard, born in 1952, began composing at the age of eighteen, creating works for children's theatre in Sydney, and sound-tracks for several short films, including early works by director Chris Noonan. For some years Gard was a teacher, and later earned his living writing books for young people, before returning his attention to the full-time composition of music.

'Music, to me, is discovery. I took up the formal study of music much later in life than most, and I am still a long way from any kind of mastery of the art of composition. Each new work I attempt is a journey of exploration, upon which I hope to take the listener, as well as myself. My works tend to be programmatic, and based on observations. My latest pieces, in the genre of musique concrete, sample real sounds in identifiable places, and voice a personal response to this material, which I try to make accessible and universal.

'I have never managed to find any feet to sit at, so I cannot claim any influences in my style, though doubtless they are there. I admire the work of a number of composers, painters, poets, architects, engineers, historians and similar constructive folk, and can only hope I have managed to grasp a little of their enacted genius, and perhaps learned from it.'

'As for my 'aesthetic', I can only suggest rather helplessly that I value humour and energy in music, unfashionable as these are, and wish music always to be a force that rejoices in life and what it offers, instead of resenting it.'

Biography provided by the composer — current to July 2006

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Beyond this point (trios: clarinet, piano, cello) (1999) Commissioned by David Vance for performance by Charisma.