About the Music
I loved learning Australian music for my recitals while I was studying, and they were always the pieces that sparked the most interest among my family and friends. So I wanted to explore and celebrate music by Australian composers with a recital full of it!
All of the music you'll hear today is about tuning in to what is around us in some way, whether that's listening to the bird calls outside our window or taking a moment to pause in a busy airport.
Ecstatic Dances - Flute Duet
by Ross Edwards
2 movements - Ritmico & Animato
The practice of Ecstatic Dance originated in ancient Greece and has been present throughout human history. It uses freeform dancing to achieve a state of flow and connection with others. Accompanied by energetic, rhythmic, and repetitive music, it serves as a meditative practice and a way to cope with stress. Ross Edwards' Ecstatic Dances is a radiant, extroverted, and insistently melodic flute duet. The two parts create an interplay of sound patterns that almost sound improvisational, alike the freedom of movement in the Ecstatic Dance practice. Edwards' duet also typifies the dance style through its consistent rhythmic pulse which creates a meditative feeling.
I am excited to play this today with my good friend Bianca Murphy. We studied flute together, so we've played many duets over the years and we feel that this one really captures our essence. With the intertwining nature of the parts we take turns leading each other, and there are moments where my part is jumping around in the high register while Bianca plays a lower, more grounded tune, but the parts somehow fit together. So, I'm beginning this recital by sharing some of my world with you.
Conference of the Birds
- Flute and Piano
by Christine Draeger
Christine Draeger is a flautist and composer, with a specialisation in contemporary techniques, which feature in this piece. Conference of the birds uses both traditional and contemporary flute techniques to paint a sound picture of birds congregating, with the rich melodies in the low register of the flute contrasting against high interjections that imitate bird calls. It reminds me of sitting and taking in the view at the end of a hike.
I can imagine myself at a lookout, the beautiful landscape of hills, lakes, and roads stretching out below me, and the sunset colouring the sky a warm orange. I hear a bird call that cues me to tune in to the sounds of the forest, and I am taken on a journey, discovering that there is a certain harmony in what may at first seem like a cacophony of sounds.
Three Places for a New Millennium
- Clarinet and Piano by Stuart Greenbaum
"I hear music in time as a journey. Often this involves viewing our home planet Earth from a distance and considering our place in the universe." - Stuart Greenbaum
Stuart Greenbaum's compositions have been played all over the world, and he's also travelled far and wide for festivals, commissions and collaborations. It is no surprise that he has an interest in exploring how we view the world and our place in it. Three Places for a New Millennium is a contemplative piece, reflecting on these ideas. Below are Stuart's notes about each movement:
This was written wondering what it would be like to see the Earth from space. It also serves as a hymn to the technology of satellites that increasingly connect our humble human connections.
Most commonly, this is at an airport. When travelling alone, this can be a place to contemplate the state of one's existence while trying to find the right angle to perch ones' hand luggage as a foot stool.
Statistics bear out that lane-swapping in heavy traffic to maximise time and position is mostly a waste of time and dangerous into the bargain. What's worse is nipping into the fast lane on a slight opening, only for it to become the slow lane. My advice? Take the bike or public transport.
When Spirits Soar
- Saxophone and Piano
by Margaret Brandman
Margaret Brandman describes her composition style as "uplifting, positive or meditative for peace and harmony on the planet". And this really comes through in this piece. Margaret wrote When Spirits Soar following her participation in a Rei-Ki course, where she learned about the art of transmitting universal life force for energy renewal and healing through the hands. So in playing this piece I aim to feel a sense of connectedness to others and of sending life and energy out into the world.
It's the intent that as a listener experiencing this piece you feel inspired to breathe deeply. Margaret has designed the music to do this by featuring soaring melodic lines and moving away from strict musical structures to create a relaxed feeling. Like Rei-Ki, she hopes this leads to a feeling of well-being, and acts as a way to practise being in the moment and taking in what is around us.
About the Performers
Jess Hall is an energetic woodwind performer and teacher. They completed a Bachelor of Music in flute performance at the Queensland Conservatorium (QCGU) and during these studies received the Victoria Chalmers Education Award. Jess's love of musical theatre inspired them to take up woodwind doubling, going on to study a Graduate Certificate in clarinet and saxophone performance at QCGU. Jess enjoys performing a variety of music with local Brisbane companies. Some highlights have been performing as a flute soloist with Cadenza Chamber Players and putting their doubling skills to the test staging a musical in a day with the 24hr musical project.
Lucas D. Lynch | Piano
Lucas D. Lynch is a pianist, conductor, composer, musical director, producer, and a Doctor of Musical Arts Candidate. He is the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Cadenza Chamber Players frequently performing works from the classical, ballet, musical theatre and operatic canon. He is also co-owner and Producer of the theatrical partnership, Lynch & Paterson. Lucas has been a guest pianist and assistant conductor for Queensland Ballet and a class pianist for Queensland Ballet, Queensland University of Technology, Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet Academy and The Royal Ballet School.
Bianca Murphy | Flute
Bianca is a passionate flautist and music educator. She graduated from Queensland Conservatorium of Music and continues to share her love of music with young aspiring musicians both through her private teaching and work with the Open Conservatorium. Bianca loves performing and making music with many amazing musicians and above all cherishes the opportunities she is given to perform with her friends.