score excerpt from 'Reveria im neuen Stil' (1994, solo piano)
STAIRS TO THE MIDNIGHT CITY, VOL.1 (2010)
A musical travelogue encompassing the spectrum of contemporary musical practice, and a visionary synthesis of
past, present and future forms, Stairs To The Midnight City is one of the most significant large-scale
productions undertaken by a 21st century composer.
Volume One of a projected five volume series, subtitled 'Dream sequences and catalysts for synaesthetic modalities...',
draws together a raft of techniques, approaches and elements - minimalism, maximalism, polymodality, dodecaphony, polyphony,
atmospheric collage, overlaid transparencies, found sounds, decayed materials, improvisation, dance-electronica,
meta-musical fractals-fractures-ellipses-isotopes-tropes, and happy acccidents of chance -
in the formation of unique and unified modular spectra in an overarching musico-phenomenological matrix.
BIOCENTENARARY-AFTERIMAGE (2005) - Retrospective Notes Oct.2009
Looking back, the title implies quite a number of things, I'll just try and list a few: the magnification of
human-historical time into the larger perspective of evolutionary time ; a recognition of universal
generative structures found in natural, biological, technological, human and cultural forms ;
a sense of interrelated structures and developments within different fields and aspects of reality,
and the exploration of germinal, or 'genetic' , materials - and the way in which these 'universal
building blocks code and instruct, proliferate, develop, morph and mutate in all kinds of contexts
and structures ; the non-linear nature of reality, time and consciousness (and their peculiar
relationship to each other) ; and perhaps - although this is a longshot - the idea of our real self
being an independent consciousness linked into a larger universal fabric.
Moving from a human, to an evolutionary and then cosmic, timescale, the 'afterimage' is a
continuous projection and evolution of real and imagined forms into the future ; the history of all forms
survives in evolving and re-imagined structures. The 'afterimage' of history is the mirror, reflection,
refraction and decay of a 'primal' image and its proliferating structures; the 'ghost' of all things; the
memory of all moments in time, their mirror and decay : 'time is the moving image of eternity' - Plato
MODULES FOR PIANO (2006-07)
commissioned through Arts Victoria for pianist Michael Kieran Harvey
and the Stuart & Sons Piano
::::: Premiere - Oct 19.2008, St Matthew's Church, Albury NSW Australia :::::
MODULES FOR PIANO is a set (or suite) of modular - or mobile - variations. The pieces in the set are derived and constructed
from several main 'cells', which constitute the source material for nearly all of the key melodic, harmonic and
rhythmic material. These proto-materials helped form more traditional melodic and harmonic motifs - albeit via
experimental, non-linear and extra-musical techniques.
The idea of modular and non-linear forms extend all the way from the generation of micro 'cellular' material, to the
form of individual pieces, and even beyond : to the splicing together (and omission) of individual movements to
form macro-structures which change the views and dimensions of the material, opening up the possibility of
forming new larger 'pieces' or structures, - in the first place simply by altering and 're-splicing' the sequence of events.
The open-ended nature of the harmonic material in particular makes this kind of choose-your-own-adventure possible.
While the listener will note the pieces display a recognisable tonal idiom (and perhaps neo-classical or
pseudo-classical characteristics and stylisms) - it's been interesting for me as part of the compositional experience
to note that the techniques employed in putting the music together have been much more experimental and non-linear than
some of the material might otherwise suggest.
Notes on BLUE SECTOR
Commissioned through the ABC REGIONAL PRODUCTION FUND 2003-04
The pieces in blue sector were constructed via digital processing and manipulation of field recordings gathered in north east victoria, january and february 2004.
All share similar material and formal elements ; re-framed/re-shot/re-focused via discrete addition and subtraction of layers of acoustic 'film'/or
transparencies - vignettes open into vistas and vice versa.....
My grandmother's old bluthner piano ringing out against the evening cicadas, the hum of a local quarry, a dawn cacophony of birds, splashingin the creek on a sunday morning... found sound objects and organic
materials exist in symbiotic relationship with each other;
as an observational, aural and formal experience, the barriers between natural and machine environments become increasingly arbitrary in a sonic sense -
formally distinct integrities become interchangeable with those of the other.
Blue Sector attempts to synthesize various aspects of these diverse environments via 'organic' forms and structures suggested and partially
determined by the flow of natural events in time - simply by listening and observing the goings-on of reality in a temporal scheme.
Echoes of stockhausen, musique concrete, gavin bryars, b-grade horror films, harold budd, ryuichi sakamoto, wagner's 'parsifal' - they're in there somewhere,
a segment of an old piece 'reveria im neuen stil' appears in the blue sector 2 remix piece. everything else happened in real time, and I tried not to get in the way too much.
Thanks to Anthony Burgess and his book 'Earthly Powers' which I read while doing the piece.
And finally, thanks to everyone at the ABC and the Regional Production Fund for making this work possible.
project blurb, BIOCENTENARARY-AFTERIMAGE - commissioned through the ABC REGIONAL PRODUCTION FUND 2005
An evolutionary and aesthetic theme park of the digital world, Biocentenarary-Afterimage explores differing
cultural and perceptual modes of experience via abstract musical representations and textual interpolations.
Blurring the bouundaries between art, science, technology and the media, and utilising (for its inspiration and content) texts
as diverse as Marshall McLuhan's 'The Gutenberg Galaxy', Terence Mckenna's 'New Maps of Hyperspace' and 'The Geometric
Model of Consciousness' ; newly-posited futures across all areas of next-stage human evolution - scientific, aesthetic,
biological, technological, perceptual and conceptual - are embraced in a genre-defying voyage of discovery <
in non-linear and modular, technological-aesthetic forms.
project blurb, TRANSTEMPORAL EMPIRES
- commissioned with assistance from the Australia Council for the Arts -
'the audio object article Trantemporal Empires contains the following discrete and indiscrete object-elements :
entropied spherical implosions
dub and modified enviroments
hyperdimensional acoustic re-fractions
modal transparencies and reflections
a fulcrum of equidistant dodecaphony
the multiplication and extension of homophony into space
an undersea orchestra
rehabilitated meta-acousticians testing sand particles from the beach at eternity
interstellar emotional migrations
mixed media messages
the virtual hokum baroque ensemble
disembodied rhythmic dissension "
blurb, MUSIK FOR 10 PIANOS
Like arctic water coursing through a glacial monolith, or a balloon trip across an ancient countryside (without Richard Branson),
Musik for 10 Pianos is a work of polymath depth and beauty.
Fusing minimalism, modality and counterpoint, 'MUSIK....' draws on the influences of Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Brian Eno, the
music of Palestrina and Victoria, musique-concrete and the avant-garde - to forge a new hybrid from the chrysalis of these soundworlds.
Myriad piano lines morph into melodic textures, shifting continental plates of harmonic rhythm into new temporal dimensions,
across an expanse of evolving sonic euphoria.
The novel instrumentation and arrangement features piano, strings, guitar, mandolin, dobro, harmonium, miscellaneous kitchen
percussion and other sequenced found sounds, drawn from field recordings - and used in the special enviromental remixes
included as part of the release.