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Last updated: 19 November 2015


New album for children (and their parents & grandparents)

November 2015. Andrew Ford's new album, There Was a Man Lived in the Moon is released on 13 November by ABC Classics. It comprises 29 songs, mostly traditional nursery rhymes, arranged 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 preorder online - you'll find it in shops from 13 November.

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

Video/audio online

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.

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

Watch ANAM musicians, conducted by Brett Dean, perform Andrew Ford's Symphony (Youtube)

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

Watch Ensamble 3 performing Ford's Ringing the Changes (YouTube)

Listen to Dance Maze performed by the Sydney Alpha Ensemble. (classic/amp)

Latest additions
to work list

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

To My Excellent Lucasia, on Our Friendship, for soprano, mezzo-soprano, bass clarinet and vibes

Once upon a time there were two brothers..., for solo flute

Last Words, for soprano, violin, cello and piano

Uproar for 11 trombones and four bass drums

String Quartet No. 5

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.


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

Find me
on Twitter

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


Earth Dances
- a new book
and a 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 in order to revive it. 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.

Threaded through Ford's chapters are new interviews with six composers: Richard Barrett, Martin Bresnick, Brian Eno, Liza Lim, Pauline Oliveros and Karin Rehnqvist. Earth Dances is available from good bookshops and electronically from Amazon, iTunes etc.

> 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.


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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a quarterly e-newsletter


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' (here's Odetta's famous version on Youtube). 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.



2014 Art Music Awards:
Last Words wins 'Work of the Year - Vocal'

September 2014. Andrew Ford's Last Words has won an Art Music Award in the category Work of the Year: Vocal or Choral. Ford, who collected the award at the 2014 Art Music Awards in Melbourne's Plaza Ballroom was also a finalist in the instrumental category for his String Quartet No 5.

Commissioned by the soprano Jane Sheldon and first performed by her with the Seraphim Trio, Last Words is a song cycle based on the final poems, diary entries and letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, Captain Robert Scott, Dorothy Porter, Emily Brontë and Virginia Woolf, among others.

The climax of the half-hour work is a setting of the passage from Tim Winton's Cloudstreet, describing the death of Fish Lamb. Further performances of Last Words will follow in 2015.

> Read a program note and song texts for Last Words

Listen to Earth Dances
series online

Earth Dances (see left) was broadcast in April on ABC RN. The four episodes are now available to download.


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