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.

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!

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