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Resonate Feature Articles

In-depth articles discussing issues relating to Australia's new music scene - you can also browse our archive of all feature articles.


Phillip Houghton (1954-2017)

Phillip Houghton (1954-2017)

Phillip Houghton was a highly original Australian guitarist, composer and teacher. His compositions for solo guitar and ensembles used pictorial gestures in a powerfully intuitive way, exploiting the full spectrum of the guitar’s sound palette. Notably, a number of these works were championed by the guitarist John Williams, who was an important source of encouragement and support for Houghton’s work, and whose advocacy increased its reach beyond Australia.  In the latter decades, Houghton took his intimate knowledge of the instrument, powerful musicality and perceptive grasp of technique into teaching work with a large number of early-career guitar students. He was one of the great, defining figures of the Australian guitar scene, and his passing leaves it greatly diminished.

What follows below is a personal reflection written in the days after his passing...


Indigenous Composer Initiative - towards a gentle correction

Indigenous Composer Initiative - towards a gentle correction

The first instalment of the AMPlify Indigenous Composer Initiative artist development program took place in 2017, with planning now underway for the second run. This article by Chris Sainsbury is edited from his presentation af the 2017 IAML Australia conference in Canberra on 28 September.


Insight: <em>Vivre Sa Vie, Composer’s Cut</em>

Insight: Vivre Sa Vie, Composer’s Cut

Felicity Wilcox writes about her work Vivre Sa Vie - Composer's Cut (2017), premiered in the Australia Ensemble's Sound of Pictures concert earlier this month, together with music composed for film by Andrew Ford, Arthur Benjamin, Bernard Herrmann, Nino Rota and Dmitri Shostakovich. Wilcox managed to secure permission from the famous French film director Jean-Luc Godard to create her own 'composer's cut' - here, the composer explains her musical choices and the difficulty of turning a full-length movie masterpiece into a 15-minute short film.


Lisa Illean and <em>Cantor</em>

Lisa Illean and Cantor

Lisa Illean's new work Cantor is about to be premiered in Sydney at a Carriageworks concert by Ensemble Offspring (23 September). Funded among the 12 successful composers and projects of the first round of APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund in 2016. Illean's work already has multiple international performances lined up: in the Netherlands, Canada, the UK, Hong Kong and New Zealand. In this interview, Lisa Illean talks about Cantor and the musicians it's written for, other recent works of hers, as well as her keen interest in the human voice


Stepping Aside: Gender equality and privilege in recent Australian music culture

Stepping Aside: Gender equality and privilege in recent Australian music culture

The inaugural Women in the Creative Arts conference took place at the School of Music at the Australian National University on 10-12 August - three engaging and vibrant days of research presentations, highlighting the creative work of women. Composer, sound artist and Head of Music at Monash University, Cat Hope, was one of the keynote speakers - an extract of her speech is published here.


Patrick Thomas - obituary

Patrick Thomas - obituary

Brisbane-born conductor Patrick Thomas who died on 1 August 2017 was almost exactly the same age as the ABC - both came into the world in 1932 - and his career was inextricably linked with that of the national broadcaster.

When he was 12 years old, Patrick attended Eugene Ormandy's legendary wartime performances at the Brisbane City Hall, acquired the great man's autograph, and decided that he wanted to become a conductor himself. It was a childhood decision which would have major ramifications...


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