16 January 2019
Six Australian works featured at the ISCM World Music Days in Estonia
The 2019 ISCM World Music Festival, organised 2-10 May in the cities of Tallinn and Tartu in Estonia, will include an unusually strong Australian component, with six Australian works* in all selected for performance in the official festival program.
Paul Clift's work Shadow art II (2018) for flute, voice, and electronics, and Rosalind Page's work Horizon (2018) for SATB and hand drum were both selected from the Australian ISCM section's official submission, while Douglas Knehans's work Touch (1998/2010) for piano and electronics was submitted by the USA section. The other Australian works featured in the program are Anthony Dunstan's Ebb (2018) for voice, violin, and convolution reverb; Olev Muska's Woodland Whispers; and Paul Stanhope's Agnus Dei (2016) for SATB choir.
The 2019 festival, with the theme 'Through the forest of songs' is presented in collaboration the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and the Estonian Music Days, a festival organised by the Estonian Composers' Society since 1979. More details are available on the website - see also the list of all selected works.
*A seventh work, Liza Lim's Burning House (1995) for koto and voice was also eventually heard as part of the festival program. [Updated May 2019]
2019 ISCM World Music Days (Estonia 2-10 May 2019)
International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) (www.iscm.org)
Anthony Dunstan - homepage
Olev Muska - homepage
© Australian Music Centre (2019) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
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Is Australia so doubtful of it's reputation as a country of culture, and in particular art music, that it must claim every composer who has had connection with Australia as one of its own. But perhaps by clutching at anyone we do disservice to those composers who have been born, bred and maintain Australia as their homeland.
There is no doubt that Douglas Knehans is a strong composer, and a well recognised academic...indeed as his personal page shows, his career is quite international, and has now been residing in USA for around 20 years.
Thus, Douglas has been put forward by the USA for the ISCM World Music Days, and has been accepted onto the Estonian program for 2019. This is a grand acheivement.
I pose the question: Does the strength and current status of that composer's connection make a difference? He was not put forward by the Australian Music Centre to represent Australia, and he has not been resident here for many years. Is claiming Douglas to represent Australian new music a proper thing to do, when in fact his appearance at ISCM World Music Days 2019 has taken place outside of and without any Australian considerations?
Yes it is!