About Me

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I was born in Northern Ireland, live in Australia, and am a composer, conductor and actor. I am Head of Composition and Production at The Australian Institute of Music and Musical Director of the Sydney Male Choir. I've been Visiting Composer at Universities and schools and my music has been performed in Australia, the USA, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, China, Italy, Ireland, Taiwan, Argentina, Mexico and Puerto Rico by many international concert artists and ensembles. My compositional interests include music for orchestra, the theatre (including dance), the voice and the church, the combination of electro-acoustic and acoustic resources especially in real time, the exploration of virtuosity and indigenous Australian music. I've conducted in festivals and concerts all over the world, as well as acted in too many professional theatre works to list here.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A short message :)

A Merry Christmas to you all and a wonderful 2011!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A little taste of the new career :)

As of the end of January 2011, I will be deemed surplus to requirements at the University of Wollongong where they have, to put it bluntly, cut the composition program and offered Voluntary separation to three world-class creative composers and researchers. In the meantime, while acknowledging that the Faculty has too many governmental position, they have managed to restructure the Faculty with THE SAME NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTAL POSITIONS BUT WITH DIFFERENT NAMES!!! All of the senior executive staff have received new job titles and, one assumes, carry on as normal. Meanwhile I can hear the scraping of deck chairs around the games deck on the Titanic.

One of the ways to put such unpleasantness behind me, is to think on the fantastic opportunities and adventures that await outside the whinnet-ridden walls of academia.

Here is one such adventure. In August I began my tenure as Musical Director of the Sydney Male Choir - one of the oldest choirs in Australia. My first performance with them was on 12th September 2010 at the Sydney Town Hall. Here is an excerpt from the DVD of that concert.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

A lovely premiere!

The Sutherland Shire Choral Society, conducted by Melissa Kenny, premiered Laura's and my "4 Christmas Carols" today at 2:30 pm in St Patrick's Catholic Church, Sutherland. They did a really nice job with some very difficult music. The final one, in particular has some real rhythmic challenges for the singers, as well as setting the bar pretty high when it comes to getting the right balance between soloist and choir. All in all, it was a very satisfying performance, as the choir's diction was very good, and the silvery voice of soloist Judy Rough was delightful to listen to as the "difficult child" of the last carol.

The piece has been performed in bits at other times by the Illawarra Choral Society, although the final carol has never been performed. Thus, this counts as a world premiere of the collection. It was great to sit next to Laura and think, "This is really what we both wanted from these carols." The singers were very gracious and fulsome in their praise of both the words and the music, with some even saying that they'd like to perform more of my music. They may have been just being polite, but it's still nice to hear all the same!

That's the last premiere scheduled for this year. 2010 began with a new work for flute and organ played in the "Organs of the Goldfields" by Jean Penny and Andrew Blackburn in January, and, after several more pieces have been premiered in Taiwan, the USA, Melbourne and Sydney, it finishes with this one close to home. In all, six new works got airings this year - a record for me.

And there's more to come in 2011!