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Christian Heim : Associate Artist

I view the central issue of my music to be its meditative and ecstatic quality - the result of uniting prayer and dance, sacred and secular, and the human with the Divine.

Random Audio Sample: Meditation: Pange lingua : SATB choir by Christian Heim, from the CD Prayer dances

Photo of Christian Heim

'I view the central issue of my music to be its meditative and ecstatic quality – the result of uniting the sacred and the secular. I also find a rich cross-fertilisation among my interests of composing, directing and psychiatry.'

Christian Heim is a composer, theatre-director and doctor in psychiatry. His research area is the art/medicine interface. His work on the therapeutic use of Baroque music in dementia has been published in the Australasian Journal of Ageing. Currently, he directs and writes music for Crossbow Productions – a theatre company which has a focus on biographical and historical verse plays. Recent productions include Mrs Klein, Anne of the Thousand Days and Measure for Measure.

After studying under Peter Sculthorpe, he undertook post-graduate studies in conducting and composing in Vienna, Paris and New York. His music-theatre works were performed in New York where he studied directing. He has lectured at the universities of Wollongong, Newcastle and at the Manhattan School of Music, and he completed a PhD at the University of Sydney under Professor Anne Boyd. He has conducted the Manhattan Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Western Sinfonia and the Newcastle Medical Orchestra.

After graduating in medicine with honours, he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study the use of music in hospital environments in Europe. A grant has enabled him, as a part of a research team, to conduct a multicentre trial in the use of ambient Baroque music.

Heim's art music – reflected primarily in the CD Prayer Dances (Move records) – attests to his interest in prayer and dance. He uses techniques found in chant traditions to express Christian concepts. He also uses techniques derived from dance. His love of dance stems from his eastern European heritage and folk dancing. From this and his previous work as a percussionist, his music obtains its spontaneity and rhythmic drive. Repetition, process structures, textural consistency and the sustaining of emotional states for long periods of time are features shared by chant and dance.

He is fond of carrots, celery, a good bolognaise, nature and a laugh.

Biography provided by the composer — current to March 2007