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Carla Thackrah : Associate Artist

I work with both music and image, creating an emotional, human journey. It is that magical moment when all senses meet, that I continually search for...

Photo of Carla Thackrah

Photo: Chris Osbourne

Carla Thackrah has had a largely classical music training, having performed for many years as Associate Principal Flute with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and also featuring in performances and recordings with most of Australia's major symphony orchestras. She has performed with many contemporary music groups including David Ahern's A-Z Music in the 70s, the Lindsey Kemp Contemporary Dance Co., Tucana Flute Ensemble and the Seymour Group.

Thackrah's tertiary studies include a psychology degree from Sydney University, music studies at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, and postgraduate performance studies at the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In London Thackrah also studied textile design at the Chelsea School of Art and she has continued the study and practise of visual art in Australia. She has a Masters degree in Music from the Queensland University of Technology.

Given her love of both the visual and aural, Carla now concentrates on the creation of multimedia works combining music and vision. Her desire to subvert the usual film composition practise of adding music as an afterthought to already completed vision, led to the creation of the sound work for ABC Radio The Art of Sound, for string quartet and narration. To this work she added film, which became the thirty minute arts documentary shown on ABC TV entitled Sex, Drugs and String Quartets, made with a major grant from Arts Queensland.

Earlier films have included the award winning Tuning and Passages, both based on her own compositions and shown at the Basc Film Festival. In 2004 she created a multi media work Circus Sweet, again combining music and film, for the contemporary music group Topology.

Thackrah teaches part time in the music department at the Queensland University of Technology and continues to work in film and music, either as a film composer or film maker.

In 2005 she was awarded Best Music for a Documentary in the annual Australian Guild of Screen Composers awards for Sex and Drugs...

Biography provided by the composer — current to December 2008

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Circus sweet (quintets: saxophone, piano, violin, viola, double bass) (2004) Commissioned by Topology.