Three Horizons

Tomorrow marks the last of the ‘Three Horizons’ concerts (see here, here and here for background). In preparation I thought I’d collate some trivia about Margaret Sutherland, Miriam Hyde, and Raymond Hanson, some of the featured Australian Composers, for a bit of background reading.

Margaret Sutherland

margaretsutherland

Trivia:
Continue reading “Three Horizons”

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Three Horizons

A piece half a lifetime in the making

In the middle of working on a new piece for violin and piano, violinist Rebecca Gill, who commissioned the work as part of the 2016 Stefan Kruger Scholarship, sent me an e-mail with an old photo of the two of us. She came across the photo – from the hazy days before Facebook albums – while looking for material for her upcoming tour, ‘Three Horizons’, which features the new work alongside an all Australian program. The new work, similarly named ‘three horizons’, is actually three pieces, rolled into one.

‘Look what I found!’ she exclaimed. Continue reading “A piece half a lifetime in the making”

A piece half a lifetime in the making

Writing about music is like dancing about apocrypha

Composing thoughts on Andrew Durkin’s ‘Decompsition: A Music Manifesto’

I’m currently reading Andrew Durkin’s ‘Decomposition: a Music Manifesto’. It’s refreshing, insightful, and very readable, despite its size. Plenty to agree with, to champion, and plenty to disagree with too – exactly what I want from a book – and as it’s primarily concerned with music, generally, and authorship/authenticity more specifically, it’s rather an ideal book for me. Continue reading “Writing about music is like dancing about apocrypha”

Writing about music is like dancing about apocrypha

Boulez and the new, getting old (Or ‘Boulez is not dead, yet’).

For a variety of reasons I’ve been thinking recently about, in need of ‘clever-er’ words, “newness” and “oldness”. Last night I travelled to London to hear two of the concerts in the latest series of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s inspired and inspiring Total Immersion days. It was in celebration of the former enfant terrible of classical music, Pierre Boulez, and his 90th Birthday.

Continue reading “Boulez and the new, getting old (Or ‘Boulez is not dead, yet’).”

Boulez and the new, getting old (Or ‘Boulez is not dead, yet’).

Selling the Vanguard

The San Francisco Symphony has a series called Soundbox aimed at attracting a younger audience with a ‘cooler vibe’ than we’re told classical concerts have. Great. It sounds, and looks interesting. It is elegantly made, and executed, with intelligent, compelling musical programming. Sure it’s dressed up with nice lights, a gig ambience and the hope of drawing in people conscious of the cool, but why wouldn’t those be good things? They’re doing good work and even extending everyone’s musical horizons on the way. It served to highlight my uncomfortableness with a similar project closer to home.

Continue reading “Selling the Vanguard”

Selling the Vanguard

Some Notes about ‘Women of Note’ (book by Rosalind Appleby, Fremantle Press, 2012)

“Darkness, where I find my sight,” intones the soprano, hardly daring to move from her opening note. So begins Margaret Sutherland’s Six Songs to the poems of Judith Wright. This apparent ‘paradox of opposites’ is a recurrent image for Wright and her problematic if profound landscapes are expertly inhabited by Sutherland’s music. As the poem returns to meditate on this opening line, “Darkness where I find my sight,” with new context and insight, Sutherland returns to the opening musical material in her song, now calmed by its new significance. The piano – restless, searching, throughout – finally begins to repeat its figuration and eventually resolve the otherwise terse harmonies.  The female voice is no longer shackled by doubling in the piano, but singing on its own. Continue reading “Some Notes about ‘Women of Note’ (book by Rosalind Appleby, Fremantle Press, 2012)”

Some Notes about ‘Women of Note’ (book by Rosalind Appleby, Fremantle Press, 2012)