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Carla Thackrah : Associate Artist

I work with both music and image, creating an emotional, human journey. It is that magical moment when all senses meet, that I continually search for...

Photo of Carla Thackrah

Photo: Chris Osbourne

Carla Thackrah has had a largely classical music training, having performed for many years as Associate Principal Flute with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and also featuring in performances and recordings with most of Australia's major symphony orchestras. She has performed with many contemporary music groups including David Ahern's A-Z Music in the 70s, the Lindsey Kemp Contemporary Dance Co., Tucana Flute Ensemble, Seymour Group and most recently the contemporary improvisation group Elektra Collective Unconscious.

Thackrah's tertiary studies include a psychology degree from Sydney University, music studies at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, and postgraduate performance studies at the London Guildhall School of Music and Royal Academy of Music London. In London Thackrah also studied textile design at the Chelsea School of Art and she has continued the study and practise of visual art in Australia. She has a Masters degree in music and film from the Queensland University of Technology and a Doctorate in digital multimedia from the University of Technology Sydney.

Given her love of both the visual and aural, Carla now concentrates on the creation of multimedia works combining music and vision. Her desire to subvert the usual film composition practise of adding music as an afterthought to already completed vision, led to the creation of the sound work for ABC Radio The Art of Sound, for string quartet and narration. To this work, she added film which was shown on ABC TV entitled Sex, Drugs and String Quartets, made with a major grant from Arts Queensland. She has been nominated twice for awards by the Australian Guild of Screen Composers; once for the SBS documentary series Frock Off and for Sex, Drugs which won her Best Music for a Documentary.

Earlier films have included the award-winning Tuning and Passages, both based on her own compositions and shown at the Basc Film Festival. She was commissioned by the contemporary ensemble Topology to create a multimedia work Circus Sweet, again combining music and film.

Thackrah continues to work in film and music, recently completing a doctorate incorporating a major series of digital sound and film portraits. She also performs and records with the contemporary ensemble Elektra Collective Unconscious.

Carla Thackrah — current to November 2020