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Andrée Greenwell : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: The hanging of Jean Lee : songs about the last woman to be hanged in Australia by Andrée Greenwell, from the CD hanging of Jean Lee


Photo of Andrée Greenwell

Photo: J.Manché

Award-winning composer Andrée Greenwell works diversely across mainstream and experimental platforms within the Australian performing arts, film and television. She is one of Australia's leading composers for voice and a significant music theatre creator, described by Keith Gallasch as occupying: 'a special place in the musical culture of Australia. Her distinctive compositions sit uniquely at the nexus of folk, opera, pop, jazz and avant garde trajectories'. (Realtime 53).

As artistic director of Green Room Music, Greenwell regularly brings together unusual combinations of instrumentations and musicians from contemporary classical, popular music, indie and improvisation scenes in her works and scores. Such artists have included Deborah Conway (voice), Marshall McGuire (harp), Michael Kieran Harvey (piano), Phil Slater (trumpet), Paul Cutlan (clarinets/ saxophones), Max Sharam (voice), Christine Douglas (soprano), Miriam Allan (soprano), Paul Capsis (voice), Jeff Duff (voice), Peter Neville (percussion), David Hewitt (percussion), Cameron Undy (bass guitar), Toby Hall (drumkit), Hugo Race (voice and guitar), Tom O'Halloran (keyboards), Michael Sheridan (electric guitar), Bree Van Reyk (percussion), Helen Noonan (soprano), Grant Smith (baritone), Tyrone Landau (tenor), Melissa Madden Gray (aka Meow Meow), Susan Prior, Naomi Radom (violin), Helen Mountfort (cello).

In 2011 Andrée Greenwell shared composition and music direction for Behind the Cane, commissioned by Queensland Music Festival. Behind the Cane told the stories of the Australian South Sea Islander community of Bowen. Scored for soloists, adult and children's choirs, brass trio, strings, guitar, keyboard, bass and double percussion, over 100 performers were involved in the project which was performed in the Bowen Sound Shell to audiences over of 8,000. Also in 2011, the Bell Shakespare produced a workshop of a new music theatre piece for family audiences composed by Greenwell, written by Alison Croggon and Daniel Keene.

Her music-theatre work Dreaming Transportation: Voice Portraits of the First Women of White Settlement at Port Jackson, based upon the verse history Botany Bay Document by Jordie Albiston, was commissioned for the Sydney Festival to critical acclaim, and received a further season at the Playhouse, Sydney Opera House, in 2004. It was also studio recorded by the ABC Music and Drama Units for various feature programs, one of which went on to win an international prize.

Greenwell has scored many theatre productions and, over the past fifteen years, many plays for director Marion Potts. These include the recent Tis Pity She's a Whore (2011) for amplified soprano, harpsichord and sampler instruments with live digital manipulations on laptop by sound designer Jethro Woodward; and Sydney Theatre Company's Volpone, for which she was nominated for a Helpmann award in 2003, writing songs for Paul Capsis, Jennifer Vuletic, Emma Cooper and a gypsy band.

Andrée Greenwell won a Green Room Award for her score for the Bell Shakespeare/Malthouse co-production of Venus and Adonis, also directed by Potts, starring Melissa Madden Gray (aka Meow Meow) and Susan Prior with recorders, electric guitar and drumkit/percussion. She music directed STC's The School for Scandal, directed by Judy Davis in 2001 and Black Mary for the Festival of the Dreaming in 1998, collaborating with singer/songwriter Jimmy Little.

Through her studies at the Australian Film Television and Radio School she directed, produced and composed 'Medusahead: a video opera clip for decapitated soprano and 3D animated snakes' starring the soprano Helen Noonan, which toured to many international electronic arts and film festivals. Following the success of Medusahead, Greenwell established Green Room Music as a platform to develop screen and performance projects. The first of these, Laquiem: Tales from the Mourning of the Lac Women, initiated as a CD based upon the novella by Kathleen Mary Fallon, secondly as a performance work, and thirdly excerpts were script adapted and directed by Greenwell for film, with the assistance of the Young Film Makers Fund of the NSW Film and Television Office. Laquiem screened at many international film festivals and on SBS.

Andrée Greenwell was a resident composer at Chateau de La Napoule, France in 2002, assisted by the award of an Australian Elizabethan Trust Travelling Scholarship, and lecturer in composition at the University of Western Sydney (1999-2002). She was the 2003 recipient of the biennial NSW Women in Arts Fellowship. The award allowed her to compose and develop a new music-theatre work The Hanging of Jean Lee, based upon the verse biography by Jordie Albiston, that traces the life of Jean Lee, the last woman to be hanged in Australia, in 1951. This work premiered at the Sydney Opera House in 2006 and will be released on CD in 2012.


Andrée Greenwell — current to August 2012

Analysis & Media

- Review: The Song Company Modern Art Series #1 10 September 1996

- Review: The Song Company Viewing 30 May 1999

- Website: The Hanging of Jean Lee - videos of performance at Arts House 2013
by Andrée Greenwell