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Ron Nagorcka : Represented Artist

I compose abstractly - not attempting to express anything in particular, but trying to feel the sounds at work...

Random Audio Sample: Requiem : in memoriam Ian Bonighton : pianoforte by Ron Nagorcka, from the CD Atom bomb becomes folk art


Photo of Ron Nagorcka

Artist website: http://www.ronnagorcka.com

Composer, performer, and naturalist Ron Nagorcka (born 1948) spent his childhood exploring music and the natural world on a sheep farm in Western Victoria. He studied music at Melbourne University and at the University of California San Diego.

During the 1970s he was active as a composer in Melbourne and taught at the Melbourne State College.

In 1988 he moved to a remote forest in northern Tasmania, where he built his own house and solar-powered studio. As president of the Central North Field Naturalists he takes a keen interest in both the science and the aesthetics of the Australian bush. His recordings of nature - especially birdsongs - provide the basis for many of his compositions. He also makes and plays his own didjeridus, and often incorporates them into his music.

He also has a strong interest in the ancient tuning known as 'just intonation' - and its use in both music and nature. Nagorcka says of his music: 'I compose abstractly - not attempting to express anything in particular, but trying to feel the sounds at work. I strive to be unique and distinctive - so I like to find new harmonies in alternative intonations and rhythms that dance in new ways.'

From 1990 - 1996 Nagorcka's music was performed mostly by the ensemble NYET - a group of artists particularly interested in their relationship to the Tasmanian environment.

In 1996 he collaborated with artist Sieglinde Karl and others to produce the installation Secret Places at the Queen Victoria museum in Launceston - since presented in Hobart, Melbourne and Orange. He also produced a CD of this music.

In October 1997, he was joined by Rob Williams and Larry Polansky in a concert of his music as part of the Sounding Sphere festival in Harima, Japan.

In October 1998, his Tasmanian Toccata for didjeridu, sampler and pipe organ was the main feature of three concerts to open the new organ in the chapel of Trinity College in Melbourne.

In 1999, he was awarded a commendation by Melbourne University in the Albert H. Maggs Composition Award. In August - September 1999, he undertook a 'Wilderness Residency' at Eddystone Pt. where he wrote This Beauteous Wicked Place - premiered in Ballarat in January 2000, and presented in the Great Hall of the Old Bailey by Nagorcka and Elizabeth Anderson as part of the 2001 City of London Festival.

In 2002 a CD of his music (Devils of the Night) was produced by Move Records in Melbourne.

In 2003 he toured the USA, Norway and Sweden. His major work Artamidae was premiered by the Downtown Ensemble in New York, and he presented concerts with organists David Scott Hamnes in Norway and Gary Verkade in Sweden.

In 2004 he was joined by Larry Polansky and local performers in concerts in Launceston and Hobart culminating in the recording of Artamidae by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


Biography provided by the composer — current to February 2007

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Tarkine passing (radiophonic music) Commissioned by ABC Classic FM.
Digital sheet music sample Leaves : pianoforte solo (2013) Commissioned by Shirley West for her brother Robert Luxmore
Digital sheet music sample Chaconne (trios: horn, trombone, tuba) (2012) Commissioned by Trio Kobayashi (Los Angeles)
Digital sheet music sample Anything : piano solo (2012) Commissioned by Shirley West.
Septimus confronts equality : for 2 pipe organs (six hands) and MIDI keyboard with audio software (2012) Commissioned for the conference "Cage 101" held at the Faculty of Performing Arts, Universiti Pendidikan Sultran Idris, Malaysia in August 2013.
Digital sheet music sample Winter canticle : a song cycle (2011) Commissioned by Keith Harrison who wrote the text, and collaborated on the music