I’m very pleased to announce I will be taking up a position with the Monash University Philharmonic Society, as the conductor for the organisations big band – called the Monash Jazz Orchestra (MoJO). The MUPS has been running for over 30 years and is a big part of the student societies at Monash, with around 100 students taking part across three large ensembles. Continue Reading →
So usually I like to create a grand plan for my pieces, detailing much about the structure, aesthetic, textures, well pretty much the lot. Except for the actual musical material – the melodies, rhythmic fragments, progressions that will end up in the piece. It’s kind of like building top down, but having no idea what the materials I’m using are.
Then, more often than not, the more I work on the piece and develop those materials, the structure I spent so much time on gets weaker and weaker. That is, it has to bend to accommodate what the music needs. I think if I were to compare those grand plans (often detailed spreadsheets, once with colour coding…) to what the final piece was, there would be a huge difference.
Why does that matter? Because I think I can lose the balance, the pace, the logic of the piece by pretty much ignoring the overall structure somewhat. Although the pieces still make sense, by trusting my instincts more than anything, perhaps they are missing out on that next level.
So challenge for the next few pieces – build a plan that includes both top and bottom at the same time; plan the larger structure but also work on the musical materials and see how they will fit together. Then, stick to that structure with great discipline. Trust the plan as well as my instincts. And see what the results are…
A couple of weeks ago I had a new piece premiered by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, as part of it’s annual Cybec 21st Century Emerging Composers Program. This was definitely a huge learning curve for me and I can’t thank the MSO and the Cybec Foundation enough for giving me the chance to do this!
Now, after the excitement, nerves, stress and celebration has passed, feels like a good time to gather some thoughts and reflect on what was one of the longest and most involved projects I have done.
So I’m going to be writing some thoughts, ideas and observations about music here – hope you find it interesting reading. Might also pop in some rants about the latest news or cricket results…
First up though will be some thoughts from my incredible experience with the MSO Cybec program last week!
Recently I was announced as the 2014 West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra Composer-in-Residence, hooray! This means I will be writing some new big band music, to be performed by the ensemble at a premiere concert in May, at the Perth International Jazz Festival.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been commissioned by the Melbourne Recital Centre to write a new work for the Melbourne quintet, Syzygy Ensemble. The piece will be premiered at the 2014 Metropolis Festival, as part of Syzygy’s program, ‘Logic’.