Sounds of Innovation: ABC Classic and Jazz Empower 16 Australian Composers with 2024 Composer Commissioning Fund
December 3, 2023

Financial support for the creation of new works has been granted to sixteen Australian composers through the 2024 ABC Composer Commissioning Fund. The initiative, presented by ABC Classic and ABC Jazz, seeks to encourage diversity in Australian music and support emerging artists.

The 2024 Fund will focus on both classical and jazz musicians, providing resources for the development of new large-form works for ten classical musicians, the youngest of whom is 16, and the creation of a new album for six jazz musicians.

Each composer will receive up to $6,000 for their projects, which will also involve the recording, digital release, and airplay of their works by the ABC.

Among the classical commissions, Ciaran Frame collaborates with Alon Ilsar and poet Melinda Smith for the creation of "Conduits," a song cycle using a wearable Digital Musical Instrument. Tasmanian composer Mieka Tabart will compose "What are Days For," a suite of six trio works. Alex Turley, a Layton Fellowship recipient, will write "Five Aphorisms for Violin and Piano" for performers Anna da Silva Chen and Vatche Jambazian.

Jasmine Lai, a Year 11 Melbourne student, is one of the youngest recipients, creating "Empathy" for clarinet, cello, and piano to be performed by Ensemble Liaison. Belinda Gehlert will explore the life of astronomer Caroline Herschel and the poetry of Adrienne Rich in her work for Adelaide Baroque. Paul Nicolaou's work, "προχωρώ (prochoró)," reflects on his experience growing up as an LGBTIA+ individual raised Orthodox.

Alex Chilvers, based in Western Sydney, draws inspiration from the Dunhuang manuscripts for "Dunhuang Dialogues," a composition for classical harpsichord, Chinese pipa, and bass guitar. Abigail Lui from Brisbane will create a string quartet reflecting on life alongside the Brisbane River. Oliver Cameron and Luke Patterson will collaborate on "After the Shipwreck," a song cycle for tenor, viola, and piano.

Danielle Arcaro's project, "I See You," engages Perth composer Alice Humphries to create a work honoring the memory of music student Emanuel.

In the jazz category, Sydney saxophonist Tessie Overmyer aims to celebrate the underrepresented voices of women in Australian jazz through her quartet project. Trumpeter Jessica Carlton will explore themes of home and belonging in her project, "A Place of Belonging." Hobart's Koa Trio, inspired by international jazz influences and traditional Vietnamese music, will record a new original album.

Somesh Putcha from Canberra will reflect on his culturally diverse background in the album "Halahalamu-Amruthamu." Melbourne-based trombonist and composer Ellie Lamb will explore transgender love and gender euphoria in an album with improvisation as an exploratory tool. Wollongong-based composer Des Canning will draw on his Indigenous experience for a series of new works reflecting on the 2023 Indigenous Voice Referendum.

2024 © Opera World
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