Haydn Reeder was born in Melbourne in 1944 and graduated from the University of
Melbourne in 1965. He undertook postgraduate studies in piano and composition at
the Graz and Vienna Academies of Music after which he moved to London. Several of
his works were performed and broadcast there. From 1983 to 1989 he taught at La
Trobe University. He has been awarded prizes and distinctions in the Premio Città di
Trieste, the Fukui International Harp Music Competition (Japan) and The International
Trombone Association Composition Contest (USA) as well as gaining various
Australian and Victorian government Composer Fellowships. Of his many works for
ensembles, several have been recorded on CD.
He has also written a chamber opera and orchestral, live-electronic, vocal and choral works. Besides composing he performs as soloist and accompanist, teaches and examines piano and theory and
works as a music editor and copyist. An APA Scholarship enabled him to attain a PhD
degree in composition in 2005 at the University of Melbourne.
Written in 1998 as a companion piece to an earlier guitar duet, Ground, this is the first
performance of ‘Return to the Distilled Gold’. The work has a duration of between 4
and 5 minutes. There are several distinct gestures or textures which circulate through
the piece; that is, they return at a later point. Only one of these, however, is heard at
the same pitch level on its return as when it is introduced. It features an intermittently
repeated low chord on one guitar while the other guitar traces a slow high two-part
shape. It is contemplated for quite a long time when introduced and during this initial
phase is returned to several times. It is as if the composer, like an alchemist, has
discovered the essence of what he is looking for and wishes to listen to it for some
time without disturbance. At its later return, this central idea is only briefly referred to.
The piece ends with a thumping toccata-like section.