Dots on the Landscape
Document TypeAudio Music Recording
Access StatusOnly available to University of Melbourne staff and students, login required
Dots on the landscape is a six-part Australian music history series by eminent Australian composer, Andrew Ford. This series is an oral history of notated music in Australia, from the time of European settlement to the present day. Andrew Ford talks with Australian composers and musicians, including Anne Boyd, Richard Meale, Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Carl Vine, Brett Dean and Elena Kats-Chernin. Their stories are an interpretation of Australia's musical history, and the effects it has had on them and their contemporaries.
ABC Classic FM
Episode 1. Since European settlement, music in Austalia has continuously evolved in Australian society. Isaac Nathan is reputed to be the colony's first professional composer. His music saw the beginning of the art of composition in this country. His arrangements of Aboriginal melodies and his ambitions as a composer of opera, laid the ground for later endeavours in Australian music. Includes the voices of composers: Anne Boyd; Colin Bright; George Dreyfus; Moya Henderson; Liza Lim; Richard Meale; David Page; Vincent Plush; Peter Sculthorpe and Larry Sitsky. Also featured are music critics, Roger Covell and Elizabeth Silsbury; Prof. of Aboriginal Studies at Melbourne University, Marcia Langton; and novelist and librettist, David Malouf. Presented by Andrew Ford.
Episode 2. Europe provided Australian music with its early role models and its institutions: the concert halls, the opera house, the symphony orchestra. Young composers continue to study there and, at various time, there have been centres that have attracted our most talented musicians (eg. Hill and Grainger at Leipzig in the 1880s and 90s; Boyd, Wesley-Smith and Edwards in York in the 1970s). And yet Australian composers have an increasingly ambivalent attitude to Europe. Working out that attitude seems still to be one of the defining features of Australian composition. Features the composers, Anne Boyd; Gerard Brophy, Ross Edwards, Mary Finsterer, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Moya Henderson, Miriam Hyde, Peter Sculthorpe, Larry Sitsky, Carl Vine and Martin Wesley-Smith; and the Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of York, Wilfrid Mellers. Presented by Andrew Ford. From the series Dots on the landscape (ABC Classic FM)
Episode 3. Percy Grainger is Australia's best-known composer. His music and his life seem to embody many of the recurrent trends in Australian music: emigration, experimentation, and larrikinism. Grainger was also among the first to identify the unique potential of musical composition in Australia and to recommend that composers in this country look to the north (ie. Asia) for inspiration and affinity. Features the voices of Percy Grainger, Brian Allison, Ros Bandt, Stephen Banfield, Warren Burt, Naomi Cass, Gerald Gentry, Wilfrid Mellers, Vincent Plush, Peter Sculthorpe, Alessandro Servadei, Roger Smalley and Martin Wesley-Smith.
Episode 4. In spite of Grainger's urgings, it was really not until the 1960s that Australian composers began to turn their gazes away from Europe and tap Asia as a musical resource. Some of these tappings were consciously oriental (Sculthorpe, Conyngham, Boyd) while others were more aesthetic (Meale). What have been the advantages of embacing influences from Indonesian gamelan to Japanese gagaku? What have been the effects on music in Australia? With the voices of Anne Boyd, Barry Conyngham, Roger Covell, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Lisa Lim, Richard Meale, James Murdoch, Vincent Plush, Peter Sculthorpe and Elizabeth Silsbury.
Episode 5. In music, as in the visual arts, Australian composers have drawn inspiration both from the landscape and the fauna it supports. Birdsong, for example, has been a feature of Australian composition since its earliest days. A composer like David Lumsdaine can even make musical works that consist entirely of edited recordings of birdsong. Apart from the outback and the bush, there are other types of landscape, which inspire musicians. Barry Conyngham's inspiration has been the cities in which the majority of Australians live. Featuring the composers, Anne Boyd, Warren Burt, Barry Conyngham, Brett Dean, Chris Dench, Ross Edwards, Alan Lamb, David Lumsdaine and Peter Sculthorpe.
Episode 6. The earliest Australian composers came from overseas and many continue to come. On the other hand, some Australian-born composers, like Grainger, often find that they can work more effectively in another country. How does the expartriate experience affect a composer? And how does it effect the composer's view of Australia? Featuring Don Banks, Alison Bauld, Warren Burt, Tristam Cary, Brett Dean, Chris Dench, George Dreyfus, Elena Kats-Chernin, James Murdoch, Vincent Plush, Peter Sculthorpe, Larry Sitsky, Roger Smalley, Peter Tahourdin, Felix Werder.
Off-air broadcast recording. Copied under Part VA of the Copyright Act
KeywordsComposers -- Australia -- 20th century
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