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Anne Norman : Associate Artist

Music and life are better with moments of stillness. Whether made by musician, bird, or the wind, music is found in the interplay of silence and sound. The listener is an active and vital participant in the perception and creation of music.

Random Audio Sample: Inner states (solo koto) by Anne Norman, from the CD Burning house

Photo of Anne Norman

Artist website: http://annenorman.com/

Anne Norman is a composer, performer and improviser working in a diverse range of music creation. Described as 'one of Australia's most adventurous artists' (Therese Virtue, Music Sans Frontiers) she has produced many performances of cross-cultural and cross-artform works with visual and movement artists, musicians and tea masters.

Norman's music explores the interplay of silence and sound, timbral nuance and gesture, informed by the Australian landscapes and night sky and the study of Japanese aesthetics. She has directed numerous projects featuring her compositions and collaborative improvisations, performing shakuhachi (bamboo flute) with musicians ranging from opera singers to beatboxers, violinists to bass koto. Her commissioned works include choral music and Sylvia's Challice for Federation Bells.

Assembling improvisers from across Australia to perform with Yolngu songman Jason Guwanbal Gurruwiwi, Norman directed a series of concerts in a tunnel under Darwin. Recordings were broadcast on ABC Radio National. Norman has released many albums of solo and collaborative projects. She has also premiered and recorded contemporary chamber works by several Australian and Japanese composers. Her music may be heard at https://annemnorman.bandcamp.com/

Following studies on flute at Melbourne Conservatorium, time in Bali and years in Japan studying shakuhachi, she completed a Masters in Ethnomusicology (Monash) and returned to Japan on scholarship to study under Living National Treasure Yamaguchi Goro at Tokyo University of Fine Art and Music.

A recipient of numerous arts grants for creative development, composition, recording, and touring from the Australia Council, Arts Victoria, Sidney Myer Fund, Japan Foundation and DFAT, she has also received several composer commissions from the Australia Asia Foundation. These include electro-acoustic works, music for Power Pole Bells, and recently, Oodnadatta Who, a shakuhachi work incorporating vocal techniques in polyphonic and hocketing interplay. Hearing her perform this in Portugal in 2019, flautist Katharine Rawdon requested it be reworked for Boehm flute. Both scores are now available.

Norman's "duos for one" and "quartets for two" requiring instrumentalists to simultaneously sing, are partly influenced by flutes and songs of the Pygmy peoples of central Africa, partly by Baroque polyphony and partly by time spent sitting in gamelan rehearsals and performances in Bali. Taegum virtuoso Hyelim Kim is currently practising Anne's "duos for one" on Korean bamboo flute.

'Soft multi-phonic elements of [Norman's] shakuhachi and voice come and go within rhythms of recurring patterns, creating a surreal impression.' (Le Tuan Hung, Sonic Gallery, 2016).

'As the melismas become more and more florid, you become unsure whether you are hearing her voice, or that of the flute, or both.' (Melvyn Cann, Adelaide 2015).

To support Anne in her various creative endeavours and learn more about her compositions, join her on PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/AnneMNorman

Anne Norman — current to October 2020

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Oodnadatta Who : existential duo for one (2019) Commissioned by Lê Tuấn Hùng.

Analysis & Media

- Document: Biography of Anne Norman