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Karen Heath : Associate Artist

Creating a musical atmosphere that embraces beauty and otherworldliness in an immersive environment.

Photo of Karen Heath

Photo: Tomas Fitzgerald

Karen Heath completed her Master's degree in Music performance in 2005, graduating with first-class honours from Monash University. Studying 'choreographic Music' (music written for the performer to dance or move in specific gestures while performing) as part of her Master's degree led her to the works of Karlheinz Stockhausen and to Europe where she received lessons from Wolfgang Meyer and Suzanne Stephens. In 2005, Heath performed In Freundschaft at the annual Stockhausen course in Kürten, Germany, working with Stockhausen in rehearsal and in performance, and won 2nd prize for her performance that year. Returning in 2007 to Kürten, she performed again at the Stockhausen course, playing the heavily choreographed Der Kleine Harlekin, for which she won another prize.

In performance, Karen Heath has worked with Libra Ensemble, Sunwrae Ensemble, the Grand Silent System, composer James Hullick, the Phonos Project, Arcko Symphonic Project, has performed several times at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival as well as the International Arts Festival, guest-performed for folk singer-songwriter Lior for his second album and in concert, recorded for David MacDonald from the Waifs for his solo debut record, and has recorded and performed for film score and numerous other freelance projects. In 2008, she performed a piece with Arcko Symphonic Project entitled Learning to Howl for soprano, clarinet/soprano saxophone/bass clarinet, harp and percussion by Andrew Ford alongside percussionist Timothy Phillips, harpist Alice Giles and soprano Merlyn Quaife. This recording was nominated for an APRA award for Best Performance of an Australian Classical Composition in 2009.

As a composer, Karen Heath won Best Music Award in 2006 at the Melbourne Fringe Festival for her work Ananke for bass clarinet and clarinet, dancer, koto and percussion. Also in 2006, she toured Victoria with the Phonos Project, performing her work Io, along with artist in residence Swedish composer Henrik Hansson, whose composition Stadium appeared on the same program. Heath has had her works performed in Montreal and Edinburgh (commission from by Piazza Contemporary Collective, 2007), Tokyo (2009) and Reykjavik (commission from Duo Harpwerk, 2009). After losing all her possessions in the Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009, including her compositions, she is slowly building up her catalogue once again.

Karen Heath's current projects include a world music-inspired progressive-rock group, Ennïs Tóla, with whom she has recorded and performed with since its inception, and in December 2009, recorded for the band's second record at Abbey Road Studios in London.

Karen Heath — current to June 2010