I am often asked about favourite composers (or favourite music). It’s a question I hate, not just because as soon as I am asked it my mind goes entirely blank and I forget the name Mozart, but also because there are so many and whenever I mention one name I despair later that I’ve forgotten to mention another.
When I do manage to muster some of the names below, they are often met with blank stares.
So I decided to gather names into one list, and make a couple of sample playlist for anyone who wants to listen Continue reading “The Best Music”
The ‘obligation to speak’ produces a dialogue of art – a rhetoric of art – in which I sometimes enjoy participating. Generating this rhetoric of art is sometimes clarifying about my work (for me or, I hope, for others) and/but it is also sometimes a frustrating afterthought, an obligation. I do think about trying to create organic behaviour, natural textures, etc. in my music, an idea I talk about often, and this idea – this product of rhetoric – has helped me refine what I do, why I do it and how I do it. It would, however, be remiss of me if I did not also acknowledge that there are times, absent of coherent rhetoric, where I am inarticulately art-full, where I am playing with tones – imagining tones – without any coherent sense of what or why, but compelled wether by childish delight, poetic inspiration or pathological curiosity ‘to art’ (the verb). In articulating this, though, don’t I turn it into ‘a rhetoric of art’ just as I separate it from that? The chicken-egg dance begins again.
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.
Continue reading “Three Horizons”
“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)”
I recently saw an article attempting to find a list of 9 Great Symphonies each by a different American Composer. Ever noticed how symphonies are always ‘great’… and never make double digits? This article was a spin-off from another article in-turn spun-off from a Facebook game so I guess that makes this commentary on commentary on commentary ‘ad inceptionitum’. I immediately began to wonder what this game might look like for Australian Symphonies. Continue reading “The Australian Symphony – In search of Australia’s 9 ‘Greats’”