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Rae Howell : Associate Artist

Random Audio Sample: Drawn down : chamber ensemble by Rae Howell, from the CD Autumn never fall

Photo of Rae Howell

Photo: Dean Jones


Rae Howell is an Australian composer and multi-instrumentalist. She works across a broad range of genres in collaboration with performing and visual artists, in theatre, film, dance, concert hall, and multimedia productions.

She is founding director of Sunwrae: an ensemble, label and sheet music publisher, has a BMus (Hons) from Melbourne University, and an MMus from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. Her list of works is flourishing, from solo to orchestral pieces, sound design for installations, film and theatre soundtracks, and special event commissions.

Rae's fellowships include composer in residence posts at Yaddo in New York, the Millay Colony (NY), and the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida USA; the Banff Centre in Canada; the ARENA International Theatre Festival in Erlangen, Germany; Instituto Sacatar in Bahia, Brazil; ECCO International in the Gambia in West Africa; La Sonora in Argentina; the Edward Said National Conservatoire of Music in Palestine; the Visby International Centre for Composers in Sweden; and the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House in Vietnam.

Her music has been broadcast on WNYC, NPR, BBC Radio 3, ABC Classic FM, ABC Radio National, plus a myriad of regional and community radio stations globally. Performing 'little symphonies for the contemporary population', Rae's compositions are a rare treat, crossing the boundaries of classical, jazz, popular and cinematic styles with immediacy and vibrancy rarely experienced in contemporary music today.

Rae has performed her music at festivals and venues worldwide including an exclusive performance for the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip and Sir David Attenborough at Australia House in London, Ho Chi Minh City Opera House in Vietnam, Museu de Arte Moderna Bahia Brazil, i=u Festival in London, Brisbane Festival, SxSW, Golden Plains Festival and the Famous Spiegeltent. Other projects include productions at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, 'Frugal Forest' at the Sydney Opera House with One Off Makery, 'Citizen Squid' with Puppets with Guts (UK), whilst other fellowships include a UNESCO Aschberg Bursary, Finzi Trust and Guildhall Trust Scholarships, and independent project commissions for AIR programs globally.

Currently she works with sonic & visual artist Jon Cohrs (NY, USA) on an electronic music project 'Rabbitsss', and a new music collaboration with NY composer and instrument-maker Bradford Reed. Rae's latest venture Bee-Sharp Honeybee is a research and development project stemming from work with the University of Minnesota Bee Research Lab and hobby beekeepers in Minnesota USA, studying the sound of the bee-buzz frequency for an audio-visual chamber orchestra work.

Rae's album releases include Never Stops to Wait (2005), several Live Eavesdropping CDs & DVDs (2003-2007), Autumn Never Fall (2009), Live at The Thornbury Theatre (2010), Heavy Forest Air (2013), Penguins (by Rabbitsss, 2014), Invisible Wilderness Vol I & II (2015), and Captain Matchbox (2016). Forthcoming in 2018 are three releases stemming from recent projects. These accompany ensemble and solo sheet music publications and numerous collaborative recordings alongside acclaimed artists across the globe.

'Sunwrae is, without question, Australia's best kept secret... The music paints every style, every influence, in complete, organic harmony. The Silent Ballet, USA)

'Rae Howell is a composition and musical genius.' (Faster Louder)

'The Sunwrae Ensemble have true power and a brilliant finish...' (Karl Schwonik, jazz musician, Canada)

Rae Howell — current to March 2018

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Goodness gracious : a cappella vocal sextet / ensemble (2009) Composed for the Song Company as part of the MODART composer development programme
Hugo where I go : for solo piano (2002) Commissioned for a puppetry/theatre production 'The Angel Show'.
Faraway Castle : piano and string quartet (2002) Written for a German/Australian theatre production 'Einst zu einer Zeit' (Once Upon a Time) in Erlangen, Germany