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Performances 2017

Performances 2016

Performances 2015

Performance archive

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Performances
in 2017

February 19:
Missa brevis; Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, Choir and Chamber Choir of St John's Cathedral conducted by Graeme Morton, St John's Cathedral, Brisbane

March 15:
Headlong, Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Northey, Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Sydney

March 18:
Headlong, Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Northey, Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Sydney

April 30: world premiere (first live performance)
There Was a Man Lived in the Moon, Clive Birch, Tobias Cole, Vocal Fry, Turner Trebles, Simón Bolívar String Quartet, Canadian Brass, Ensemble Offspring, Canberra International Music Festival, Fitters Workshop, Canberra

May 5: world premiere
Lin-lan-lone, Lyn Fuller, National Carillon, Canberra

May 6:
Lin-lan-lone, Lyn Fuller, National Carillon, Canberra

May 6: world premiere
In transit, Andrew Ford (speaker), Ian Munro (piano), Arts in the Valley, Kangaroo Valley, NSW

May 6:
Waiting for the Barbarians; The Unquiet Grave, The Song Company, Australian Voices, Luminescence Chamber Singers, Florian Peelman (viola), Canberra Festival Orchestra conducted by Roland Peelman, Canberra International Music Festival, Fitters Workshop, Canberra

May 7:
Lin-lan-lone, Lyn Fuller, National Carillon, Canberra

May 28:
Lin-lan-lone, Siang Ching Ngu (carillon), University of Sydney Carillon, Sydney

May 29: world premiere
Never, Plexus, Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne

July 1:
Once upon a time there were two brothers...
, Sally Walker (flute), Australian Flute Festival, Brisbane

September 16:
Scherzo perpetuo, Australia Ensemble, Sir John Clancy Auditorium, University of NSW, Sydney

October 13: world premiere
Comeclose and Sleepnow, Gian Slater (singer), Monash Art Ensemble directed by Paul Grabowsky, School of Music Auditorium, Monash University, Melbourne

Performances
in 2016

January 23:
Once upon a time there were two brothers, Lina Andonovska (flute and voice), Fundacao Oriente, Dili, East Timor

January 24:
. . . les débris d'un rêve, Melanie Walters (piccolo), Tilde New Music Festival, Australian Institute of Music, Melbourne

February 7:
Missa brevis, Choir of St John's Cathedral conducted by Graeme Morton, Andrej Kouznetsov (organ), St John's Cathedral, Brisbane

March 13:
Three Shakespeare Songs, Wendy Dixon (soprano), David Miller (piano), Glebe Justice Centre, Sydney

March 27:
Female Nude, Malla Vivolin (alto flute), Uusinta Ensemble, Rupla, Helsinki, Finland

April 2:
Getting Blue, Sideband, Old Darlington School, Sydney

April 20: world premiere
Contradance, Omega Ensemble, City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney

April 21:
Three Shakespeare Songs, Michael Halliwell (baritone), David Miller (piano), Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney

April 23:
The Birthday of My Life, Genevieve Lacey (recorder), Marshall McGuire (harp), Ngeringa Cultural Centre, Mt Barker, South Australia

April 28: world premiere
After the Visitors (world premiere), Cradle Song, Katie Noonan (soprano), Brodsky Quartet, Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane

April 29:
After the Visitors, Cradle Song, Katie Noonan (soprano), Brodsky Quartet, Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne

April 30:
After the Visitors, Cradle Song, Katie Noonan (soprano), Brodsky Quartet, Canberra International Music Festival, Fitters' Workshop, Canberra

May 1:
After the Visitors, Cradle Song, Katie Noonan (soprano), Brodsky Quartet, Her Majesty's Theatre, Adelaide

May 2:
After the Visitors, Cradle Song, Katie Noonan (soprano), Brodsky Quartet, City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney

May 4:
After the Visitors, Cradle Song, Katie Noonan (soprano), Brodsky Quartet, Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany, WA

May 5:
After the Visitors, Cradle Song, Katie Noonan (soprano), Brodsky Quartet, Perth Concert Hall, Perth

July 2:
Becalmed, Laura Chislett (amplified bass flute), Unbound Flute Festival, Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Brisbane

July 19:
Tuba mirum, Benjamin Anderson and Charles MacInnes (bass trombones), Melba Hall, Melbourne

July 24:
Missa brevis, Choir of St John's Cathedral conducted by Graeme Morton, Joseph O'Berry (organ), St John's Cathedral, Brisbane

August 13: world premiere
Raga, Zane Banks (electric guitar), Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Northey, Adelaide Guitar Festival, Town Hall, Adelaide

August 28:
Missa brevis, Choir of St George's Cathedral conducted by Joseph Nolan, Michael Lukin (organ), St George's Cathedral, Perth

September 30:
Nine Fantasies about Brahms, AYO Chamber Players (Yena Choi, violin; Simon Svoboda, cello; Siang Ching Ngu, piano) Bahai'i Centre of Learning, Hobart

October 1:
Contradance, New Juilliard Ensemble conducted by Joel Sachs, Peter Jay Sharp Theater, The Juilliard School, New York, USA

October 7:
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, The Song Company conducted by Antony Pitts, Pier 4, The Wharf, Sydney

October 8:
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, The Song Company conducted by Antony Pitts, Blackheath Uniting Church, Blackheath, NSW

October 9:
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, The Song Company conducted by Antony Pitts, Independent Theatre, North Sydney

October 12:
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, The Song Company conducted by Antony Pitts, Berry Uniting Church, Berry, NSW

October 13:
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, The Song Company conducted by Antony Pitts, Wesley Uniting Church, Canberra

October 23:
Missa brevis, Choir of St Patrick's Cathedral conducted by Daryl Barclay, Dion Henman (organ), St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne

October 25:
Becalmed, Laura Chislett (amplified bass flute), Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney

November 7:
Sounds and sweet airs, Melanie Walters (flute), Anna Coleman (clarinet), COMA, The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adleaide

December 12: world premiere
First Star Chorus from Peter Pan, Sydney Children's Choir conducted by Lyn Williams, City Recital Hall, Sydney

December 13:
First Star Chorus from Peter Pan, Sydney Children's Choir conducted by Lyn Williams, City Recital Hall, Sydney

December 17:
Wassails and Lullabies, the Llewellyn Choir conducted by Rowan Harvey-Martin, Wesley Uniting Church, Canberra

 

Performances
in 2015

February 11:
Composition in blue, grey and pink, Genevieve Wilkins (percussion), Guy's Hospital Chapel, London, UK

March 17:
The Spirit of the Staircase, Sutherland Trio, Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne

March 19:
On Reflection, Viney-Grinberg Duo, Nickson Room, University of Queensland, Brisbane

March 27:
On Reflection, Viney-Grinberg Duo, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown, NSW

May 8: world premiere
A Pitch Dark Night, David Greco (baritone), David Shaw (piccolo), Leanne Sullivan (trumpet), James Huntingford (piano), conducted by Roland Peelman, National Library of Australia, Canberra International Music Festival, Canberra

May 9: world premiere
Common Ground, New Zealand String Quartet, Tinalley String Quartet, Fitters' Workshop, Canberra International Music Festival, Canberra

May 15:
The Birthday of My Life, Genevieve Lacey (recorder), Marshall McGuire (harp), Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne

May 23: world premiere
Scherzo perpetuo, Flinders Quartet, Clocktower Centre, Moonee Ponds, Melbourne

May 24:
The Crantock Gulls, Askill Percussion Duo (Anna Zeltzer and Robert Oetomo), Chatswood High School, Sydney

May 24
Scherzo perpetuo, Flinders Quartet, Macedon Music, Mount Macedon, Victoria

May 25:
Scherzo perpetuo, Flinders Quartet, Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne

May 28:
Scherzo perpetuo, Flinders Quartet, Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House, Sydney

May 31:
Scherzo perpetuo, Flinders Quartet, Montsalvat, Eltham, Victoria

June 17:
Tales of the Supernatural, Maa Bonny Lad, Jane Sheldon (voice), Zephyr Quartet, Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House, Sydney

June 19:
Tales of the Supernatural, Maa Bonny Lad, Jane Sheldon (voice), Zephyr Quartet, Elder hall, Adelaide

June 20:
Tales of the Supernatural, Maa Bonny Lad, Jane Sheldon (voice), Zephyr Quartet, Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse, Melbourne

June 28:
A Kumquat for John Keats, Aidan Boase (piano), All Saints' Church, St Kilda, Melbourne

July 20:
Slow Air, Ensemble Three, School of the Arts, Singapore

July 22
:
Scherzo perpetuo, Flinders Quartet, Sundsvall Chamber Music Festival, Sundsvall, Sweden

August 2:
Last Words, Jane Sheldon (soprano), Seraphim trio, Macedon Music, Mount Macedon, Victoria

August 3:
Slow Air, Ensemble Three, Melba Hall, Melbourne

September 1:
Last Words; Domestic Advice, Wendy Dixon (soprano), Grevillea Ensemble, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney

September 27:
Chorales from an Ox Life, Tara Houghton (viola), Emma Sullivan (double bass), Ian Hanger Recital Hall, Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Brisbane

September 30:
Getting Blue, Side Band, Old Darlington School, Sydney

November 14:
Scherzo perpetuo; Maa Bonny Lad (for soprano sax and string quartet); The Birthday of My Life (arr. Leonard, for soprano sax, clarinet and string quartet), Australian World Orchestra chamber ensemble, Robertson Hotel, Robertson, NSW

November 26:
The Scattering of Light, White Halo Ensemble, University of Queensland, Brisbane

November 28:
Once upon a time there were two brothers...
, Lina Andonovska (flute and voice) Lospalos, East Timor

December 5:
Nonsense, Teddy Tahu Rhodes (baritone), Tamara Anna Cislowska (piano), National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

December 13: world premiere
Missa Brevis; Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, St John's Cathedral Choir conducted by Graeme Morton, Andrej Kouznetsov (organ), St John's Cathedral, Brisbane

December 13:
Sounds and Sweet Airs; Composition in blue, grey and pink, Ensemble Offspring, Bundanon Trust, Riversdale, Illaroo, NSW - website.

 

> Performance archive

 


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

June 2016. Andrew Ford came up with the first ideas for his electric guitar concerto in 1998, and finally it is written. Thanks to a commission from Kim Williams in partnership with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Guitar Festival, Raga will be unveiled on 13 August 2016 at Adelaide Town Hall.

The new concerto is composed for the virtuoso guitarist, Zane Banks, who will be the soloist, with the ASO conducted by Benjamin Northey.

> More details and tickets from the ASO website.

 

There Was a Man Lived in the Moon - 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. There are also 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. Order the album There Was a Man Lived in the Moon (ABC Shop).

 

Three Front Doors and a Paddock
- a radio series with artist Ben Quilty

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.

 

New works for Omega Ensemble (Sydney),
and Katie Noonan & the Brodsky Quartet


April 2016. Two new pieces by Andrew Ford have their first performances this month. Contradance, for 11 instruments, was commissioned for the Omega Ensemble by Steven Alward as a sixtieth birthday present for his partner Mark Wakely. Scored for wind quintet, piano and string quintet, the piece explores multiple dance patterns and some very low sounds (bass clarinet, contrabassoon, double bass). The first performance is on 20 April at the City Recital Hall in Sydney (details & tickets).

After the Visitors, for Katie Noonan and the Brodsky Quartet, is part of With Love and Fury, a collaborative song cycle to words by Judith Wright, involving Paul Dean, Paul Grabowsky, Iain Grandage, David Hirschfelder, Elena Kats-Chernin, John Rodgers, Richard Tognetti and Carl Vine. Already out on CD, the cycle has its first live performance by Noonan and the Brodskys in Brisbane on 28 April, followed by concerts in Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney, Albany and Perth. The CD is available via Katie Noonan's website - digitally on iTunes and Spotify. National tour details and ticket links also on Katie's website.

 

 

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.

 

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)

 

Premieres at Canberra International Music Festival

May 2015.  Two new pieces by Andrew Ford will have their first performances during the 2015 Canberra International Music Festival. At the National Library of Australia on Friday 8 May, David Greco will sing A Pitch Dark Night, for baritone, piccolo, trumpet and piano, a setting of words from Arthur Taylor's Gallipoli diary. The following evening, the New Zealand String Quartet and the Tinalley String Quartet come together to play Common Ground, a piece that shares musical material with A Pitch Dark Night. Common Ground was commissioned for the Canberra International Music Festival by Barbara Blackman.

Music for a silent film


A still from the film 'Le Sculpteur express' (1907). Watch film on Youtube.

The Flinders Quartet will play the first performances of Scherzo perpetuo, commissioned by the group to accompany Segundo de Chomón's short silent film Le Sculpteur express (1907). It is one of two 'film score' commissions by the Flinders Quartet, the other from Swedish composer Mattias Lysell, and in their May concerts the quartet will play the works back to back, accompanying showings of the film. They will take both pieces to the Sundsvall Chamber Music Festival in Sweden in July. Watch Le Sculpteur express on Youtube.

 

 

Earth Dances (Black Inc.) - a new book now available


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.

 

Last Words wins 'Work of the Year' at 2014 Art Music Awards

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. (The instrumental award went to Mary Finsterer, with Paul Grabowsky and James Ledger respectively taking out the jazz and orchestral awards - more details.)

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

Image: © APRA AMCOS

 

Premieres in Sydney,
Melbourne and Brisbane

July 2014. Slow Air was commissioned by Ensemble Three – Joel Brennan (trumpet), Don Immel (trombone) and Ken Murray (guitar) – and they will give the first performance at Sydney Conservatorium of Music on 10 July.

The title is partly a pun on the brass players' main playing technique in this piece – there are quite a lot of long, quiet notes – and partly a reference to the traditional slow song or air, which is where the piece ends up. The trio will also take the piece on their tour to China in September.

The other imminent premieres are of Piae cantiones, which Melbourne Cappella under Nicholas Cowall will sing at Melbourne's Rippon Lea (17 August), and On Reflection, for two pianos, scheduled for performance by the Viney-Grinberg Duo (Liam Viney and Anna Grinberg) in ABC Classic FM's Sunday Live from Brisbane on 21 September.

 

The Past in London

May 2014. Andrew Ford's The Past for counter-tenor, flute and strings will form the centrepiece of a concert by the London-based Australian orchestra Ruthless Jabiru in the British capital's first Australian and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts. The piece sets two texts, Oodgeroo Noonuccal's poem 'The Past', written in 1970 on the 200th anniversary of Captain Cook's landing in Australia, and Cook's ship's log in which he recorded his first impressions of the continent and its indigenous people. The soloist is counter-tenor Russell Harcourt, who premiered the piece in 2009. The concert, conducted by Kelly Lovelady, is in the beautiful Gothic-revival chapel of King's College London.

> Read the texts of The Past

 

Ford in the USA: Boston, Juilliard, Yale

March 2014. This April Andrew Ford will be in the United States, presenting lectures at Boston Conservatory (Wednesday 9 April), The Juilliard School (Thursday 10 April) and Yale University (Tuesday 15 - Thursday 17 April). At Yale, as Poynter Fellow in Journalism, Ford will give a lecture entitled 'The Composer as Critic' and his music will be featured in a concert at Morse Recital Hall on 17 April at which New Music New Haven will perform the US premieres of the violin and percussion duo War and Peace (2004) and On Winter's Traces (2009) for piccolo, bass clarinet, piano and string quartet.

 

Untuning the Sky podcast

February 2014. You can now download a free podcast of Untuning the Sky, last year's collaboration between composer Andrew Ford, Genevieve Lacey (recorders), Phil Slater (trumpet), a dozen musicians from the Australian National Academy of Music, 71 members of Gondwana Voices, sound engineer/producer Jim Atkins and the painter John Olsen, who reads Dryden's great ode 'A Song for St Cecilia's Day'. Additionally, you can hear Andrew Ford talking about the piece to ABC Classic FM's Stephen Adams.

 

Last Words in Adelaide, Ballarat, Melbourne and Sydney

March 2014. Andrew Ford's new song cycle Last Words will receive more performances as part of a short Australian east-coast tour by soprano Jane Sheldon and the Seraphim Trio at the end of March. First performed by the same performers in an all-Ford concert at the 2013 Port Fairy Spring Music Festival,

Last Words sets to music the final utterances of Goethe, Sappho, Emily Dickinson and Maurice Chevalier alongside final poems (Robert Louis Stevenson, Emily Brontë, Dorothy Porter), letters (Major Sullivan Balou writing to his wife before the battle of Bull Run in the American Civil War, Virginia Woolf's final letter to her husband) and diary entries (Captain Scott). It reaches its climax in a breathless setting of a passage from the end of Tim Winton's Cloudstreet.

> Read the text and a program note of Last Words
> Performances of Andrew Ford's music in 2014

 

Uproar in St John's Cathedral

August 2013. Uproar for (at least) 11 trombones, including bass trombones, and (at least) four bass drums, will have its first performance at the closing event of the 2013 Brisbane Contemporary Church Music Festival on Saturday 17 August. Commissioned by the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, for trombonist Ben Marks and his students (who will give the premiere), Uproar is the latest of Ford's pieces for choirs of wind instruments, following ' . . . in Paradiso' for nine or more flutes, and The Cloths of Heaven for 10 or more cornets. A performance of The Cloths of Heaven will end the Brisbane concert.

 

Virginia Woolf's suicide note (extract)

Festival premieres in October: (famous) Last Words and a Grim(m) fairy tale

August 2013. Andrew Ford will be a guest of the Port Fairy Spring Festival in October, where on Saturday 12th he will hear the first performance of his new song cycle Last Words, commissioned by soprano Jane Sheldon for herself and the Seraphim Trio. A setting of final utterances, diary entries, letters and poems by figures ranging from Sappho to Maurice Chevalier, Florenz Ziegfeld to Virginia Woolf, and from Captain Scott to Dorothy Porter, the half-hour piece builds to a climax that is a musical evocation of Fish Lamb, from Tim Winton's Cloudstreet, lumbering down the jetty to his doom.

Story-telling also lies behind Ford's dramatic new flute solo Once upon a time there were two brothers... Written specially for the talents of Sally Walker, the performance requires Walker to narrate the Grimms' tale 'The Singing Bone', as well as turn her instrument, sonically, into the bone in question. She will play it for the first time at the Melbourne International Arts Festival on 21 October

Image: Virginia Woolf's suicide letter to Leonard Woolf (extract).

 

Three new string quartets - for the Brodsky Quartet, the NOISE and the ASQ

July 2013. Since early 2102, Andrew Ford has completed three string quartets. String Quartet No 3, commissioned by the Brodsky Quartet and dedicated to them on their 40th anniversary, was performed earlier this month at the Brisbane Powerhouse during the Queensland Music Festival. No 4, commissioned by Julian Burnside for the NOISE, has already been recorded and the CD will be launched at the work's premiere at Sydney's Cell Block Theatre on 8 October. Before that, the Australian String Quartet will tour nationally with Ford's String Quartet No 5, beginning at Adelaide Town Hall on Friday 6 September, continuing to Perth, Melbourne, Noosaville, Brisbane and Sydney.

They will repeat it the following month as part of a portrait concert of Ford during the Port Fairy Spring Festival, that concert including the premiere of the composer's new song cycle, Last Words.

Australian Aphorisms for The Song Company - premiere 17 May 2013

April 2013. The Song Company will give the first complete performance of Andrew Ford's commissioned work, Australian Aphorisms in the Canberra International Music Festival on 17 May. The cycle consists of settings of aphoristic poems and lines by seven Australian writers: Les Murray, John Forbes, Judith Wright, David McCooey, Maria Takolander, Barbara Blackman and David Campbell. The first setting – of Les Murray's 'The Averted' – was composed in 2010 and first performed by the Song Company at the ISCM Festival in Sydney that year, while the last, of David Campbell's touching poem 'Hear the Bird of Day' was sung at last years Canberra International Music Festival.Four of the song were composed this year.

 

Learning to Howl - CD cover with a girl in a field of poppies

Learning to Howl

April 2013. ABC Classics has released a recording of Andrew Ford's double award-winning song cycle, Learning to Howl, sung by the soprano Jane Sheldon. The piece sets words by Lorrie Moore, Sappho, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Emily Bronte, Queen Elizabeth I, Ann Timony Jenkin and Elizabeth Smart (among others) and represents a woman's life from childhood to old age.

The CD also includes the 'single' version of a song from the cycle, the Rossetti setting 'The Birthday of My Life', together with Snatches of Old Lauds, for bass clarinet and drone, and Sounds and sweet airs, for flute and clarinet. The other major work on the disc is the Prix Italia runner-up Elegy in a Country Graveyard, recently featured in Tony Williams and Anna Hewgill's film, A Place Called Robertson.

> Buy the CD from ABC Shop

 


Bright Shiners
in Hong Kong

James Cuddeford with his violin in the concert poster of the Hong Kong SinfoniettaMarch 2013. The Hong Kong Sinfonietta will open their morning concert on 10 April with Andrew Ford's Bright Shiners for solo violin and string orchestra. Commissioned by the Australian Chamber Orchestra in honour of Richard Tognetti's 20th anniversary as artistic director, the piece was designed to run straight into Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No 3 and that's how it was first performed by the ACO with Pekka Kuusisto in 2009. Ford is currently working on a revision of the piece (so that it need not always keep company with Brandenburg 3), but meanwhile the performance in Hong Kong City Hall under James Cuddeford will be of the original version, followed by the Bach.

Image: James Cuddeford with his violin in the Hong Kong Sinfonietta concert poster (detail).

 

Watch, listen & share: Tony Williams's beautiful video of Elegy in a Country Graveyard

Andrew Ford discusses his Prix Italia-shortlisted piece Elegy in a Country Graveyard in two extracts from Tony Williams and Anna Hewgill's film A Place Called Robertson (Four Donkey Films). Shot in the Southern Highlands of NSW where Ford lives, the film also features local artists including Carlos Barrios, Enrique del Val and Ben Quilty

> Watch and share the film on Vimeo
> Watch also: Elegy in a Country Graveyard Part 1, with a longer interview with Andrew Ford about this work.


Jocelin Pan, soloist in the Unquiet Grave in New York

Jocelin Pan, soloist in The Unquiet Grave. Photo © Arthur Moeller.

Ford and the viola - New York, Sydney, Brescia

September 2012. It's no secret that the viola is one of Andrew Ford's favourite instruments. Three concerts in a month underline the fact. On 22 September, Ford's viola concerto, The Unquiet Grave, had its American premiere in New York from soloist Jocelin Pan with the New Juilliard Ensemble under its founder and music director, Joel Sachs. (Read the New York Times review.)

The same week, Roger Benedict together with Daryl Pratt gave the first performance, in Sydney, of Ford's duo for viola and percussion, You Must Sleep, but I Must Dance. In four movements, described by the composer as 'sleep, dance, sleep, dance', the piece was commissioned by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to mark its centenary. On October 20, the Italian dėdalo ensemble launches its 2012/13 season at Teatro Sancarlino, Brescia, with a program that includes On Winter's Traces. Commissioned in 2009 for the Australia Ensemble's 30th anniversary, this work is dedicated to the group's violist, Irina Morozova, and features the viola as the most prominent instrument in a mixed septet.

 

New book August 2012:
Try Whistling This

August 2012. Andrew Ford's new collection of writings about music is published on 1st August by Black Inc. In Try Whistling This, Ford traces the concept of dirty dancing back to the 16th century, marvels at the weirdness of Percy Grainger and considers the decision of Wilhelm Furtwängler to keep conducting under the Nazis. He explores the intersection of words and music, the bugbear of Australian musical identity, and the fundamental importance, in music and in life, of listening.

There are essays based on Ford's acclaimed radio series Music and Fashion, as well as illuminating examinations of music-makers from Mozart to Messiaen, Elgar to Brett Dean, Cole Porter to Sondheim, Bob Dylan to Randy Newman.

> Buy the book online from Readings, Melbourne.

 

Liverpool bomb damage in 1942

Bomb damage in Liverpool in 1942. Queen Victoria's statue was left standing (detail - see full photo). Photo © Imperial War Museum, UK - see licence.

Marko Letonja to conduct premiere of Blitz with TSO

August 2012. Andrew Ford's new orchestral work for the the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra features the voices of people from Liverpool, Hamburg and Berlin, recalling bombing raids during World War II. Blitz began when Ford interviewed his own parents, aged 12 and nine at the start of the war, and two of their friends about their childhood memories of the Luftwaffe's raids in 1940 and 1941. Ford then travelled to Hamburg to record an interview with a survivor of the 1943 fire-bombing of Hamburg by the RAF, and then recorded two further interviews (in Hobart) with people who had lived through the bombings in Hamburg and Berlin. These interviews, greatly edited, form solo lines within the orchestral texture of Blitz. The piece will receive its premiere under the TSO's new chief conductor, Marko Letonja, in Federation Hall, Hobart on 18th August.

> Hear extracts from the interviews at the TSO's website
> Read more about the piece itself in Ford's essay for the Australian Music Centre's online magazine, Resonate.

 

For more news, please see the News archive.

 

There was a man lived in the moon - a Victorian drawing with characters from children's rhymes

Learning to Howl - CD cover with a girl in a field of poppies

Latest albums

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

 

Learning to Howl (ABC Classics)

April 2013. ABC Classics has released a recording of Andrew Ford's double award-winning song cycle, Learning to Howl, sung by the soprano Jane Sheldon. The piece sets words by Lorrie Moore, Sappho, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Emily Bronte, Queen Elizabeth I, Ann Timony Jenkin and Elizabeth Smart (among others) and represents a woman's life from childhood to old age.

The CD also includes the 'single' version of a song from the cycle, the Rossetti setting 'The Birthday of My Life', together with Snatches of Old Lauds, for bass clarinet and drone, and Sounds and sweet airs, for flute and clarinet. The other major work on the disc is the Prix Italia runner-up Elegy in a Country Graveyard, recently featured in Tony Williams and Anna Hewgill's film, A Place Called Robertson.

> Buy the CD from ABC Shop

For more CDs, see also: the CD subpage

 

Latest books

Earth Dances: Music in search of the primitive

Black Inc., February 2015

Andrew Ford's new book, Earth Dances: Music in search of the primitive, 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.

 

Try Whistling This - writings about music

Black Inc., August 2012

Andrew Ford's new collection of writings about music is published on 1st August by Black Inc. In Try Whistling This, Ford traces the concept of dirty dancing back to the 16th century, marvels at the weirdness of Percy Grainger and consider the decision of Wilhelm Furtwängler to keep conducting under the Nazis. He explores the intersection of words and music, the bugbear of Australian musical identity, and the fundamental importance, in music and in life, of listening.

There are essays based on Ford's acclaimed radio series Music and Fashion, as well as illuminating examinations of music-makers from Mozart to Messiaen, Elgar to Brett Dean, Cole Porter to Sondheim, Bob Dylan to Randy Newman.

> Buy the book online from Readings, Melbourne.

 

The Sound of Pictures

Black Inc., November 2010

The Sound of Pictures: Listening to the Movies, from Hitchcock to High Fidelity looks at the ways directors have used music and other sounds in more than 400 films. How did Alfred Hitchcock use music to plant clues in his films? Why do some 'mix-tape' soundtracks work brilliantly and others fall flat? How do classics from A Clockwork Orange to The Godfather, Cinema Paradiso to High Noon, use music and sound effects to enhance what we see on screen? In addition to Ford's own essays, there are his interviews with five composers Ennio Morricone, Richard Rodney Bennett, Dick Hyman, Lalo Schifrin and Howard Shore) and five directors (Bruce Beresford, Sally Potter, Wim Wenders, Peter Greenaway and Peter Weir).

> Buy The Sound of Pictures online (Readings)

> More information about Andrew Ford's books.

 

 

 
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