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Sebastian Harris : Represented Artist

Writing music is my reason for living.

Random Audio Sample: Oblivion : clarinet quartet by Sebastian Harris, from the CD Rear vision


Photo of Sebastian Harris

Photo: Val Wardley

Born in Tasmania, Sebastian Harris grew up in Melbourne's Northern Suburbs. His musical study began on the organ at the age of seven, later studying oboe, piano, bassoon and contrabassoon. He studied composition at the Victorian College of the Arts with Mark Pollard, Johanna Selleck, Chris Dench and Lawrence Whiffin.

After a period working as a piano teacher and writing and performing locally in Melbourne, he made the change of moving to the town of Katherine in the Northern Territory in 2008 to be near family. He continues to write and perform there, and produces a popular local concert series known around town as Seb's Soirees featuring other Katherine-based musicians and performing his own works. Since moving to Katherine an underlying interest in language developed into a passion and after some linguistic studies he became involved in learning and recording local Aboriginal languages.

His principal achievements as a composer include Colonial Dreaming, composed as part of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Young Composers Program (2002), a performance of Motet for orchestra by Sydney Sinfonia at City Recital Hall, Sydney (2008), and the work The Wandering Eye, commissioned by Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey and performed by them with Graeme Leak and Adam Simmons in the New Music Network Concert Series 2010.

His music has been used with various dance, theatre and film works, and he collaboratively created the Melbourne Fringe Festival show Listening To Trees (2007), an experimental event integrating storytelling with music played only on wooden instruments and featuring himself on bassoon. He composed music and sound design for the Darwin Festival production Head Full of Love (2010) written by Alana Valentine and directed by Wesley Enoch. He also composed original music for Gorrdondolmi for the Katherine Fringe Festival (2011), and arranged for orchestra (2012).

Most recently Harris's has been studying the opera form as he works on his own. This includes a residency with Opera Australia in August and September 2012, learning about opera composition and production by observing the process of staging Moffatt Oxenbould's production of Madama Butterfly. Among other operatic aims he wishes to express Australian culture in opera, by telling Australian stories and history, in Australian languages including Australian English and Aboriginal Languages.


Sebastian Harris — current to October 2012