Happy (belated) New Year!
With a few weeks break over the festive season now under my belt, I reflect with awe at the intensity of 2017 and the speed in which it seemingly slipped away. I’m grateful to take this moment to pause and acknowledge that it was an overwhelmingly joyous year, filled with more rollercoaster highs than lows.
With a pinch of good humour, I can say that the themes of my 2017 centred around love, hard work and overcommitment. Commencing with a birthday milestone (30) and ending with a celebration of love (an engagement!), this lightning-fast year was shaped by the list below. I’ve listed them here, not for any kind of recognition, but more for myself to process and archive as a new year is ushered in, for time passes too quickly.
- Wonderful performances of old and new works in Australia and overseas by talented musicians and friends, to whom I’m so honoured and grateful. Here’s Christophe Mathias of Ensemble Interface giving the European premiere of ‘When We Speak’ for solo cello and electroacoustic track at the Valencia International Performance Academy and Festival, Spain in July.
- Creative development on The Owl & the Pussycat – an art music production for young audiences supported by an award from the 2017 APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund.
- Ongoing work on a PhD at the University of Melbourne guided by two fabulous mentors: Dr Elliott Gyger and Dr Katy Abbott.
- A new prepared harp work for Norfolk new music friend, Joe Rebman.
- A new flute concerto commissioned by the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra for my dear friend, Jonathan Henderson.
- Producing podcasts/interviews with Australian composers for ABC Classic FM’s New Waves podcast with colleagues Peggy Polias and Leah Blankendaal. In addition to producing the mammoth Making Conversation: Australian Composers’ Podcast series, overseeing a team of eleven, intertwined with ongoing efforts to promote Australian music and composers with co-founder, Peggy Polias, via our Director roles Making Waves.
- Being awarded the title of 2017 Victorian Young Achiever for the Arts and Fashion. I was overseas at the time of the presentation, so it doesn’t quite feel real!
- Presenting my solo cello work ‘When We Speak’, and hosting a panel on gender parity at the Women in Creative Arts conference in Canberra.
- The opportunity to share the work of Making Waves and 3MBS as representatives at the Classical:NEXT conference in Rotterdam with Leah Blankendaal.
- Casual teaching in Music Language 1 (theory) at the University of Melbourne and private music tuition for primary school kids. I adore teaching at both ends of the education spectrums!
- Presenting my first set of pre-concert talks for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
- Completing arrangements for an exciting education resource soon to be released by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Here’s Richard Gill using my orchestral arrangement of Liszt’s solo piano work ‘Nuages Gris’ as a teaching piece for high school students, courtesy of the TSO.
- Made many wonderful new friends and sounds at the VIPA new music festival in Valencia and caught up with old friends in Shanghai, Brussels, Amsterdam, Freiburg and Paris.
I offer my heartfelt thanks to all my collaborators, champions, friends and family old and new that made 2017 such a special year. It was undoubtedly chaotic and overly ambitious, though I do enter the new year knowing more about myself, values and the enjoyment I gain from such a diverse work life. Working closely with my collaborators/musicians on commissions and building in extra workshop time is more important to my practice than ever. As is, building more lead/perspective time into new creative endeavours!
The next big creative milestone is fast approaching. I look forward to touching base again soon with updates about The Owl & the Pussycat and where you can see it in 2018!
Thanks for stopping by to show your support. Just a reminder that my current list of works can be viewed here, with many works available to purchase via the Australian Music Centre or by getting in touch with me directly. There is also lots of music and podcasts to listen to and watch at your leisure on my website. I’m currently taking expressions of interest and proposals for commissions in 2019, so if you have an idea or an instinct that we should make something out of nothing together, let’s chat!
Wishing you a love filled, bright and Happy New (music) Year!
Featured image credit: Luke Volker, during creative development for The Owl & the Pussycat.