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Sebastian Harris : Represented Artist

I specialise in pleasant surprises.

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

Photo of Sebastian Harris

Photo: Alison Hogg

Sebastian Harris's musical study began on keyboard instruments, later moving to wind instruments such as bassoon and contrabassoon. He studied composition at the Victorian College of the Arts, completing a Bachelor of Music Performance with Honours in 2004 and a Graduate Certificate in Linguistics (Language Endangerment Studies) at Monash University. Much of his music is orchestral and chamber music, with a new penchant for vocal and operatic music emerging in recent years.

His principal achievements as a composer include a Motet for Orchestra, performed by Sydney Sinfonia at City Recital Hall, Sydney (2008) and 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. A Northern Territory resident from 2008 to 2014, he created music and sound design for the various Top End productions including Darwin Festival's Head Full of Love written by Alana Valentine and directed by Wesley Enoch in 2010. During this time he also became well-known for the popular community concert series known by Katherinites as 'Seb's Soirees' and featuring local artists, new compositions and innovative presentation styles.

A family history in northeast Arnhem Land together with his own time living in Katherine (NT) have fostered a personal interest in Aboriginal languages and culture. He has recorded stories in the Dalabon, Jawoyn and Mayali languages which are held at the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) including some by speakers who have since passed away. He feels strongly about respect for country and local community, and this has inspired an upcoming pilot project using music and Aboriginal language heard in the distance in a remote NT national park to focus the audience's attention on their aural experience of place. For family reasons he moved to Albany, Western Australia in 2014 where he enjoys the different ways of engaging with the vibrant Albany community.

His affinity for theatre and language comes together with his music in his studies of the opera form. This has included a five-week residency with Opera Australia in 2012 to learn about opera production by observing the process of staging Moffatt Oxenbould's production of Madama Butterfly. He aims to one day develop a unique compositional voice to engage audiences by telling Australian stories in a new way through opera.

Sebastian Harris — current to August 2015