Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address 2022
Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address is an annual forum for ideas relating to the creation and performance of Australian music. Named after the Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks, it has been igniting debate and highlighting crucial issues since its establishment in 1999.
2022 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address: Reinterpreting First Nations lullaby and the importance of new music in learning and education
The 2022 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address was delivered on Monday 14 November 2022 by William Barton and Dr Anita Collins. The 2022 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address was presented in person for the first time since 2019, in conjunction with the Paul Lowin Prizes.
William Barton’s Address was grounded in his Kalkadunga heritage and the importance of country in his music-making. With the increasing inclusivity and collaboration of First Nations music in contemporary classical music, Barton pointed to new music as a reinterpretation of the lullaby of the land.
“At the very pure and organic heart of our Australian landscape, we too have our own symphonies of this land and existence of the land and songlines of our ancestors and our bloodlines, which flow through the veins of our rivers and waterways. Whether it's dry or full, the spirit is always there in that river hole, you know? So, it's up to us to connect to country, to become in tune and to sing it up,” Barton said.
With a diverse career across classical and contemporary music, Barton acknowledged the influence of First Nations cultures and songlines in his practice, as well as musicians such as Slim Dusty, AC/DC, and Swedish electric guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen.
Barton closed his Address with a performance of a traditional song he wrote as a teenager, Kalkadungu, which has since been arranged and recorded in various versions.
Dr Anita Collins’s Address was a powerful testament to the impact of living Australian composers on the education and learning for young people. She recounted inspiring stories of working with composers Sean O’Boyle and Dan Walker in bringing music learning experiences with young students at the forefront of the compositional process.
From these experiences, Dr Collins said, “I learned that there is no one path. I learned that in the same way that I help my students create their own selves, new music creates our collective selves. I learned that education is ultimately experience and that the educational process of bringing new works to life is actually the most important thing that I can do for my students.”
Dr Collins emphasised the parallel roles of living composers and music educators on the learning, livelihood, and community for young Australian students.
The 2022 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address was an uplifting reflection of the Australia’s music past, present, and future, with deep recognition and respect of First Nations cultures and the role of new music for future generations of Australia’s musicians.
About the Speakers
William Barton is Australia’s leading didgeridoo player as well as composer, instrumentalist and vocalist.
William started learning the instrument from his uncle, Arthur Peterson, an elder of the Wannyi, Lardil and Kalkadunga people and was working from an early age with traditional dance groups and fusion/rock jazz bands, orchestras, string quartets, and mixed ensembles.
Throughout his diverse career he has forged a path in the classical musical world, from the London and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras to historic events at Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Day 2019, at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli and for the Beijing Olympics.
His awards include Winner of Best Original Score for a Mainstage Production at the 2018 Sydney Theatre Awards and Winner of Best Classical Album with an ARIA for Birdsong At Dusk in 2012. In 2021 he was the recipient of the prestigious Don Banks Music Award from the Australia Council.
With his prodigious musicality and building on his Kalkadunga heritage, William has vastly expanded the horizons of the didgeridoo.
Dr Anita Collins is an award-winning educator, researcher and writer in the field of brain development and music learning. Anita is best known for her role as on-screen expert and campaign lead for the Don’t Stop the Music documentary that aired on the ABC in late 2018 and author of The Music Advantage. She is internationally recognized for her unique work in translating the scientific research of neuroscientists and psychologists to the everyday parent, teacher and student. Anita is currently expert education advisor for professional orchestras, public, independent and Catholic school authorities, Australian and international media production companies, research expert for university, advocacy and non-for-profit organisations, founder of the Bigger Better Brains education program and a founding director of the Rewire Foundation.
Dr Anita Collins and William Barton
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