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Taran Carter : Represented Artist

Taran Carter has been writing music since he realised that to be a pop star you either had to look good, sound good or write nice tunes. He chose the latter.

Random Audio Sample: Perverse exit songs : for flute, violin, horn & cello by Taran Carter, from the CD Locana's world.

Photo of Taran Carter


Taran Carter (b. 1980) has been writing music since he realised that to be a pop star you either had to look good, sound good or write nice tunes. He chose the latter.

Carter's music has been described as having a "quasi-populist vocabulary", a "distinctive compositional voice, precociously adept at orchestration and form" and as "not compromising in terms of inventiveness." He has written music for orchestras and wind bands, a short opera, several Musicals, two concertos (percussion & flute), various chamber works, pop songs, educational works and in 1999 Carter was asked to write two songs to which the Australian Synchronised SwimmingTeam performed at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Other highlights in Carter's career include the sold-out premiere season of his first opera, Busking Hugs, (commissioned by Opera Australia) in 2001 and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra commission and premiere of Moondani Music in 2004, earning him the reputation of "a name to watch".

Carter's music has been performed by various ensembles including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Synergy Percussion, Speak Percussion, EnsembleBASH,The Song Company, Opera Australia, Romp Duo and The Percy Grainger Wind Symphony, as well as self- directed ensembles, most notably Tehai.

Carter studied composition at theVictorian College of the Arts, in Melbourne, under the tutelage of Mark Pollard, JulianYu, Johanna Selleck and Stuart Greenbaum. He has a keen interest in music education and has subsequently had several works included on the AMEB saxophone, clarinet and guitar syllabi as well as a clarinet work on the British ABRSM syllabus. It was as a school teacher that Taran met the author Scott Hatcher with whom he has since written several Musical Theatre works including Sanctuary Springs, H2Oh!and Odes to the Baglady in A minor.

In 2013 Carter was commissioned by the City of Melbourne to compose a work for the MelbourneTown Hall organ & six Percussion. The result was a work called Mixed Precipitation which was performed to acclaim by Brendon Lukin and Synergy Percussion in late 2013.

In 2014 Carter was commissioned to compose a new work to commemorate the devastating 2009 Black Saturday bushfires inVictoria, Australia.This powerful work, MOONDANI: Black, was premiered by the Eltham High school Symphonic Band in August 2014.

Taran's most recently performed Musical is an adaptation of Animal Farm cowritten with one of Australia's most loved authors, John Marsden. It was premiered in December 2016 in Kyneton,Victoria. In 2017 Marsden and Carter premiered their second stage show together, Marco Polo.

Carter is currently composing his second opera, Mau Mau, with the English librettist Matthew Hilton & a Musical called Game Of Shows with Donna Prince. His music is published by Reed Music and Wirripang Publishing and represented by the Australian Music Centre.

Taran Carter — current to June 2018

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Moondani: Black : Moondani Music II: for symphonic wind band (2014) Commissioned by Eltham High School Symphonic Band.
Mixed Precipitation : chamber ensemble (2013) Commissioned by City of Melbourne.
Digital sheet music sample Murmur Points : for 6 percussionists and 1 drummer (2005) Composed for Speak Percussion, ensemblebash and David Jones for the 2005 Melbourne International Arts Festival
Digital sheet music sample Somewhere near 1770 : for concert band (2004) Commissioned for Eltham High School Symphonic Band, Ken Waterworth.
Digital sheet music sample Moondani Music : chamber orchestra (2003) Commissioned by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Digital sheet music sample Tweedle Dub : percussion octet (2002) Composed for the Victorian College of The Arts Percussion ensemble under the direction of Peter Neville.

Analysis & Media

- Program note: Taran Carter's "Imagined Red"

- Document: Biography of Taran Carter