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Last updated: 25 April 2017


Bells and whistles

April 2017. Three new pieces will be heard for the first time in May. Lin-lan-lone, commissioned by the National Carillon, has three performances by Thomas Laue in Canberra and another by Siang Ching Ngu in Sydney, ahead of Laue's performances in Spain and Belgium July. The premiere is on Friday 5 May in the Canberra International Music Festival, with performances also on 6 and 7 May.

The festival program also includes the first live performance (30 April) of There was a man lived in the moon nursery rhymes (the music is now available from the AMC) as well as viola concerto Unquiet Grave and the choral work Waiting for the Barbarians (6 May)

In transit is premiered the same day (6 May) by pianist Ian Munro in Arts in the Valley at Kangaroo Valley, NSW, with the composer speaking train-related words from his diaries and notebooks.

Finally, Never, a suite for clarinet/bass clarinet, violin and piano from the forthcoming opera Peter Pan, is played for the first time by its commissioners, Plexus, at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Monday 29 May.

> Read program notes for Lin-lan-lone, In transit and Never.


Album for children
(and their parents & grandparents)
- now also in the UK

May 2016. Andrew Ford's popular new album for children and their parents, There Was a Man Lived in the Moon is now available in the UK, with other countries to follow. Although only released in late November, the album , on ABC Classics, was one of the highest-selling classical records in Australia in 2015. It comprises 29 songs, mostly traditional nursery rhymes, for a variety of instruments. Jane Sheldon and Teddy Tahu Rhodes, two of Australia's finest classical singers, share the songs between them, while the players are more usually to be found among the ranks of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.

In addition to the nursery rhymes, there are several original songs, including Little Star (a setting of Jane Taylor's 18th-century poem, 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star', and three songs to poems by Edward Lear, collectively known as Nonsense, specially written for the project and for Teddy Tahu Rhodes. The disc is now available for purchase online and in all good record shops.

> Order the album There Was a Man Lived in the Moon (ABC Shop)

> Watch a Youtube video of the recording of 'Have you see the Muffin Man'

> The music for 20 traditional nursery rhymes and Nonsense can now be purchased from the Australian Music Centre.

Video/audio online

Andrew Ford on Soundcloud

Watch the first performance of Contradance by the Omega Ensemble (Youtube)

Watch Brett Dean conduct the premiere of Andrew Ford's Symphony (Youtube)

Watch Catherine McCorkill play Ford's Snatches of Old Lauds in Abercrombie Caves (YouTube)

Subscribe to Andrew Ford's YouTube channel

Watch a 2-part documentary about Elegy in a Country Graveyard: Part 1; Part 2 (Four Donkey Films)

Download a free podcast of Untuning the Sky, a collaboration between composer Andrew Ford, Genevieve Lacey (recorders), Phil Slater (trumpet), musicians from the Australian National Academy of Music, 71 members of Gondwana Voices, sound engineer/producer Jim Atkins and the painter John Olsen (reading). Includes a short interview with Andrew Ford.

Latest additions
to work list

No One Could Relax around Jezebel for soprano and perucssion

Comeclose and Sleepnow, for voice and 14 instruments

Lin-lan-lone for carillon

Sunrise with Wedding Dresses for string quartet

Fanfare for Neverland for solo trumpet

Raga for electric guitar and orchestra

Contradance for 11 instruments

Sleep for string orchestra

In transit for piano and speaker

Missa brevis for SATB choir and organ

The Drowners for baritone and small orchestra

Common Ground for two string quartets

A pitch dark night for baritone, piccolo, rumpet and piano

Scherzo perpetuo for string quartet

After the Visitors for mezzo-soprano and string quartet

Slow Air, for trumpet, trombone and guitar

Free sheet music

Thin Air for solo piano (pdf 188 KB)

Broadway Boogie Woogie (pdf 150 KB) for solo piano

Fear no more . . . (pdf 155 KB)
for solo piano


High resolution promotional photographs for use in concert programs and other non-commercial contexts are now available on the biography subpage.



Find me
on Twitter

My Twitter handle is @fordwritesmusic, and you can read the feed here.


Three Front Doors and a Paddock radio series

April 2016. Three front doors and a paddock is the distance from Andrew Ford's house to that of his friend, the artist Ben Quilty. In this specially commissioned four-part series, Ben and Andy talk about making music and making art: How does it begin? What is its subject matter? Who pays for it? And what about all that great art from the past?

> Listen now or download.


Earth Dances
- book and radio series

May 2015. Andrew Ford's new book, Earth Dances: Music in search of the primitive (Black Inc.), shows how composers through history have made their music less sophisticated. From Dunstaple to Bo Diddley, Stravinsky to Scott Walker, Peter Sculthorpe to Pussy Riot, musicians have invoked the demotic and even the barbaric, admitting drones and drums to their work, simplifying (in some cases, infantilising) their techniques. The result has often been renewal.

> For details and e-purchase links, see: Black Inc.

> Read reviews

> The radio series Earth Dances was broadcast in April on ABC Radio National. The four episodes are now available to download.


The Music Show

The Music Show is two weekly hour-long programs of conversation and music. Gregorian chant or hip hop, k.d. lang or a rookie conductor, all get the attention they deserve.

> The Music Show, on Saturday and Sunday 11am Repeated: Saturday and Sunday 10pm.

> Program website



Subscribe to
a quarterly e-newsletter

> Read the latest newsletter (January 2017)


Headlong revised for SSO and Ford's 60th

March 2017. This March the Sydney Symphony Orchestra brings back Andrew Ford's Headlong under conductor Benjamin Northey for two performances at the Sydney Opera House, the second of them on Saturday 18th March - Ford's 60th birthday. Commissioned for the SSO's 75th anniversary in 2007, Headlong has been completely revised and - among other things - now has a new ending. Andrew Ford will give a pre-concert talk about the whole program before each concert.

> Read an article on Inside Story about the new Headlong (7 March 2017)


Raga - a concerto for Zane Banks and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

August 2016. Andrew Ford came up with the first ideas for his electric guitar concerto in 1998, and finally, thanks to a commission from Kim Williams in partnership with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Guitar Festival, Raga was unveiled on 13 August 2016 at Adelaide Town Hall. The work is composed for the virtuoso guitarist, Zane Banks, who was the soloist in the premiere. The ASO was conducted by Benjamin Northey.

> Read a program note.

> Reviews of Raga


New work for Katie Noonan
& the Brodsky Quartet

May 2016After the Visitors, for Katie Noonan and the Brodsky Quartet, is part of With Love and Fury, a collaborative song cycle, by ten composers, to words by Judith Wright. Now out on CD, the cycle was premiered in Brisbane in April, followed a national tour by Noonan and the Brodsky Quartet. The CD is available via Katie Noonan's website - digitally on iTunes and Spotify.


Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
- a Mass for 4 cathedrals

November 2015. Dedicated 'to all who seek asylum', Andrew Ford's Missa Brevis is based on the Spiritual 'Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child', first sung in the 19th century by African slaves 'a long way from home', In the 21st century the sentiment seems apt for refugees on the run from persecution, terrorism and war. The Missa Brevis was commissioned by St John's Cathedral, Brisbane, St Stephen's Cathedral, Brisbane, St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, St George's Cathedral, Perth and Fr Arthur Bridge for Ars Musica Australis. The Missa Brevis will be sung for the first time at the 9.30 Eucharist on 13 December (the third Sunday in Advent) at St John's Cathedral, Brisbane, with the others cathedrals to follow early in 2016.


Music and books online

A wide selection of CDs with music by Andrew Ford is easily available by mail order from Buywell. CDs and individual tracks can also be bought through the Australian Music Centre and at iTunes.

Andrew Ford's books are available from any good book shop in Australia and New Zealand. They are also available as an ebook from Readings, Amazon and iTunes: Earth Dances (NEW February 2015), Try Whistling This, The Sound of Pictures, Illegal Harmonies.

.For a full list of CDs and books, please see also the CD subpage and the Books subpage.

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