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Rae Howell : Associate Artist

Random Audio Sample: Goodness gracious : vocal ensemble by Rae Howell, from the CD MODART09

Photo of Rae Howell

Photo: Dean Jones


Rae Howell is an Australian freelance composer and multi-instrumentalist. A graduate of the University of Melbourne Conservatorium, Howell is Artistic Director of the Sunwrae Ensemble, a Melbourne-based chamber music group dedicated to performing her original works for piano, vibraphone, string quartet, harp, clarinets, alto flute, lap-steel guitar, double bass, drums and percussion, including many guest performers.

Howell produces a unique style of minimalist contemporary music, a cross between world music, classical and jazz; artistically fusing elaborate and persuasive rhythms with eclectic textures and spectacular improvisation. Howell's music is described as 'animated and energetic...'(Music Forum), 'spellbinding' (Music Network), 'hypnotically beautiful with a flowing cinematic feel...' (The Age), and 'painting every style, every influence, in complete, organic harmony'. (The Silent Ballet).

In addition to the Sunwrae Ensemble, Howell composes and performs live for a vast array of theatre, dance and film/mixed-media projects in the international arena. As a performer she also works as a guest artist with a range of musicians crossing various genres in live performance, recording and international touring.

Howell's collaborations extend to diverse audiences of music and sound; she has been a musician/composer in residence at the Banff Centre in Alberta Canada, the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida USA, and in 2009 was awarded a UNESCO Bursary to attend the Instituto Sacatar in Brazil. This year she is in residence at the Visby International Centre for Composers in Sweden and has been commissioned by the ARENA International Theatre Festival in Erlangen, Germany. She has worked with jazz musician/composer and Blue Note Records artist Sam Rivers (USA), Royal Society of Arts Fellow and composer/percussionist Eugene Skeef (Sth Africa/UK), the Song Company (Sydney), the Indra Quartet (Sweden), the Biber Quartet (Denmark) and currently works with electronic recording engineer Jon Cohrs (NY, USA).

Howell's album releases include called Never Stops to Wait (2005), several Live CDs & DVDs from the 'Eavesdropping' concert and art exhibition series (2003-2007), Autumn Never Fall and Live at The Thornbury Theatre, a new live album due for release in 2010. Festival appearances by the Sunwrae Ensemble include Apollo Bay Festival, Bright Spring Festival (VIC), SxSW Festival (Austin TX USA) and Golden Plains Festival (VIC). A live national broadcast on ABC Classic FM's Sunday Live and ABC TV's Sunday Arts paved the way for Sunwrae's highly acclaimed 2007 and 2009 National Tours, followed by two sell-out performances at the Famous International Spiegeltent in Melbourne. Howell is also the founder of 'Eavesdropping', an annual touring series of concert performances showcasing new music and exhibits of visual art by Australian artists.

Rae Howell — current to April 2010