TAKE NOTE: INTERVIEWS WITH AUSTRALIAN COMPOSERS
Edited by Madeline Roycroft (University of Melbourne)
What is the creative process? Is there an Australian voice? What place is there for tonality in music of this century? How does the performer contribute to the realisation of new music? These and many other questions relating to composition, its philosophy and individual works are answered by nineteen Australian composers in a fascinating collection of interviews dating from 1996 to 2021. Composers in the spotlight are: Larry Sitsky, Elena Kats-Chernin, Chris Dench, Julian Yu, Brenton Broadstock, Richard Mills, Nigel Westlake, Neil Kelly, Carl Vine, Elliott Gyger, Joseph Twist, Felicity Wilcox, Gordon Kerry, Liza Lim, Linda Kouvaras, Helen Gifford, Paul Stanhope, Stuart Greenbaum and Melody Eötvös.
DISTANT DREAMS: THE CORRESPONDENCE OF PERCY GRAINGER AND BURNETT CROSS 1946–60 / With interviews, lectures and other writings on Free Music by Burnett Cross
Edited by Teresa Balough (Eastern Connecticut State University) and Kay Dreyfus (Monash University)
“A subtle volume with poignant depths”.
David Pear, Australian Book Review
Percy Grainger’s childhood imagining of a music capable of reproducing the sounds of nature was translated, in his later life, into the creation of wondrously inventive “Free Music” machines. Mostly made from found materials, these machines take their place in a proud tradition of sound art, at a point where the aural and the visual intersect.
Two minds converged on the creation of the machines: the one self-taught and intuitive, the other scientifically trained and rigorous. The exchange of letters between the two men charts their journey of discovery and the friendship that grew from it: a grand passionate human adventure.
“TAKE ME TO SPAIN”: AUSTRALIAN IMAGININGS OF SPAIN THROUGH MUSIC AND DANCE (AMR 18)
By John Whiteoak (Monash University)
“a compelling and welcome addition to both Australian cultural history and
contemporary studies on ‘Spanishness’ and ideas of Spain”.
Nicholas Manganas (UTS), Journal of Australian Studies
Australians have been transported to an imaginary Spain from at least the 1830s, when cachuchas were first danced on the Sydney stage. In Take Me to Spain John Whiteoak explores the rich tapestry of Australians’ fascination with all things Spanish, from the voluptuous sensuality of Lola Montez to operas featuring señoritas, toreadors and Gypsies, and from evocative silent and later Spain-themed Hollywood movies to the dazzlingly creative artistry of the flamenco dancers and guitarists who toured Australia in the 1960s and ’70s. Examining the diverse ways that Spanish music and dance have been mediated or hybridised to cater for Australian popular taste, this landmark study of cross-fertilisation and ethnic fusion reveals how Hispanic traditions have become integral to the cultural history of the nation.
J.S.BACH IN AUSTRALIA: STUDIES IN RECEPTION AND PERFORMANCE (AMR 17)
Edited by Denis Collins (University of Queensland), Kerry Murphy (University of Melbourne) and Samantha Owens (Victoria University of Wellington)
This book is the first to be dedicated to a study of the reception of a European composer in Australia. Each of the eleven essays explores how J.S. Bach’s music has enriched Australian cultural life, from private performances in the early nineteenth century to historically informed realisations in recent years. The authors outline the challenges of mounting and sustaining this repertoire in the face of underdeveloped musical infrastructure and limited resources, and how these challenges have been overcome with determination and insight. Championed by imaginative individuals such as Ernest Wood and Leonard Fullard in Melbourne, E.H. Davies in Adelaide and W. Arundel Orchard in Sydney, Bach’s music has been a vehicle for the realisation of Australians’ cultural aspirations and a means of maintaining connections with traditions that continue to be cherished today.
COMPOSING AUSTRALIA: NOSTALGIA AND NATIONAL IDENTITY IN THE MUSIC OF MALCOLM WILLIAMSON (AMR 16)
By Carolyn Philpott (University of Tasmania)
“Philpott is a sympathetic guide to the intersection of [Williamson’s] music
and Australian identity. She is also a patient, authoritative writer and a
persuasive advocate for Williamson’s music”.
Michael Hooper, Notes, December 2020.
Brilliant, provocative, compassionate—the composer Malcolm Williamson was one of Australia’s most famous expatriates. But as Carolyn Philpott explains, his nostalgia for his homeland lasted fifty years, from his emigration in 1953 until his death in 2003. In works such as the ballet The Display, Symphony no. 6 and The Dawn Is at Hand he explored inventive ways of expressing his Australian identity, collaborating with Australian artists, paying homage to Australian musicians and exposing his sorrow for the treatment of Indigenous peoples. As the first book-length examination of Williamson’s music, Composing Australia is a portrait of an intriguing and always imaginative Australian.
DESTINY: THE EXTRAORDINARY CAREER OF EILEEN JOYCE
By David Tunley (UWA), Victoria Rogers and Cyrus Meher-Homji
“scrupulously researched and highly readable”
Rosalind Appleby, Australian, 7 April 2018.
Born in Tasmania, the Australian pianist Eileen Joyce was destined for the great concert halls of the world and a career that established her at the international pinnacle of twentieth-century pianism. In-depth essays in this book examine her studies in Germany, her appearances as a glamorous concert artist, her starring roles on film, her fascination with the harpsichord and embrace of early music, and her many acclaimed recordings. With listings of Joyce’s concerto and solo recital repertoire and the most complete discography to date, this is an informative new account of the extraordinary career of a consummate artist.
TUNING THE ANTIPODES: BATTLES FOR PERFORMING PITCH IN MELBOURNE, 1850 TO THE PRESENT (AMR 15)
By Simon Purtell (University of Melbourne)
Examining the many controversies associated with pitch standards in Melbourne over more than a hundred years, Simon Purtell discovers their impact on the tuning of the city’s orchestras and organs, as well as its defence, municipal and Salvation Army bands. This fascinating history involves famous local and touring singers, conductors and organists, including Nellie Melba, Malcolm Sargent and William McKie, revealing just how complex a problem it was to ensure that Melbourne’s music-makers remained in tune.
AUSTRALIA’S MUSIC: THEMES OF A NEW SOCIETY (2nd edition)
By Roger Covell (University of New South Wales)
Described on its first publication in 1967 as “a scholarly account of Australian music that is also entertaining social history”, Roger Covell’s Australia’s Music has become a classic of Australian music history for its beautifully written explorations of almost 200 years of music-making across classical, indigenous and Anglo-Celtic traditions. This revised edition of the classic text, including more than 60 musical examples, is supplemented by a new postscript written by the author.
YODELLING BOUNDARY RIDERS: COUNTRY MUSIC IN AUSTRALIA SINCE THE 1920S (AMR 14)
By Toby Martin (University of Sydney)
This landmark book by Toby Martin tells the story of one of the most enduring forms of popular culture in Australia. Prior to the 1950s, country music was called hillbilly music. Hillbilly was the rock ’n’ roll of its day. The latest craze, straight from America, it was young, exciting and glamorous. This book traces the journey hillbilly took to become country: the rural, nationalistic form it is known as today.
Yodelling Boundary Riders is the first book to contextualise country music into a broader story about Australian history. Not just concerned with the development of the music itself, it is also a history of the ways in which Australians have responded to the rapid rate of change in the twentieth century and the global fascination with “authenticity”.
True to its subject matter, the writing is colourful and entertaining. Along the way Martin introduces some wonderful characters and events: yodelling stockmen, singing cowgirls, sentimental cowboys, coo-ees in Nashville, hobos on the mail train, the Sheik of Scrubby Creek and Australia’s craziest hillbillies.
PASSIONS OF A MIGHTY HEART: SELECTED LETTERS OF G.W.L. MARSHALL-HALL
Edited by Suzanne Robinson (University of Melbourne)
Spanning two decades of the cultural life of Melbourne, from 1891 until the start of World War I, this collection of the letters of the composer, conductor and critic G.W.L. Marshall-Hall samples the scandal, disappointments, achievements and camaraderie of those years. Sometimes caustic and often opinionated, the letters expose their author’s infectious enthusiasm for Art as well as his tendency to rile his enemies. Gathered here from public and private archives in Australia and Britain are 249 of the extant letters, each of which offers a vivid portrait of a man many described as a musical genius.
COLLABORATIVE ETHNOMUSICOLOGY: NEW APPROACHES TO MUSIC RESEARCH BETWEEN INDIGENOUS AND NON-INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS (AMR 13)
Edited by Katelyn Barney (University of Queensland)
Collaborative Ethnomusicology explores the processes, benefits and challenges of collaborative ethnomusicological research between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. While there are many examples of research and recordings that demonstrate close collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, this volume is the first to focus on the ways these processes allow Indigenous and non-Indigenous music researchers to work together and learn from each other. Drawing on case studies from across Australia, each chapter brings significant insights into the many positives and some of the discomforts in collaborative spaces, highlighting the ongoing dialogue needed in order to improve relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and inform the future of ethnomusicological research in Australia.
BLUEBEARD’S BRIDE: ALMA MOODIE, VIOLINIST
By Kay Dreyfus (Monash University)
Alma Moodie is perhaps the most gifted violinist ever to have left Australia, acclaimed in Germany in her youth as a “rare apparition in the world of virtuosity”. Born in Mount Morgan, Queensland, in 1898, Moodie left Australia when she was nine for studies in Brussels with internationally renowned teachers. Through the tumultuous years of the First World War, the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich she forged an exceptional career, playing with the likes of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under conductors including Nikisch, Furtwängler and Fritz Busch. Her untimely death in 1943 suggests that she was a victim of war just as surely as those many others whose fates were less ambiguous. By all accounts a charismatic personality and a prodigious musician, she left no recordings and has slipped into an obscurity as deep as it is undeserved. In piecing together the details of Moodie’s life, Kay Dreyfus reclaims her reputation as one of the outstanding violinists of her generation and as a leading exponent of the contemporary music of her day.
ITALY IN AUSTRALIA’S MUSICAL LANDSCAPE (AMR 12)
Edited by Linda Barwick (University of Sydney) and Marcello Sorce Keller
One in twenty Australians has ancestral connections to Italy, connections that continue to be activated today through music as well as through language, food and sociality. This volume brings together a collection of essays tracing the diverse origins of the musical practices brought by Australia’s Italians and the subsequent influences of commercial music, government policies, and ongoing transnational relationships with family and paesani (those from the same town or village). Responses by scholars from Italy and elsewhere in the Anglophone diaspora provide additional perspective on the significance of these phenomena.
“GOODBYE ‘TIL NEXT TIME”: A CRITICAL BIOGRAPHY OF A.E. FLOYD (1877–1974)
By Ian Burk (Australian Catholic University)
A.E. Floyd (1877–1974) had the ability to make music interesting and accessible to the musical public. By the 1940s, he was a household name in Australia particularly as a result of his music broadcasts, which always ended with the words ‘and now I’ll say goodbye ’til next time’. Under his direction, music at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, enjoyed an international reputation for excellence.
This book traces the life and work of a colourful, sometimes contradictory and legendary character: his early musical development in the United Kingdom and his subsequent work as cathedral organist, conductor, composer, music critic, broadcaster and educator.
THE POINT OF THE BATON
By John Hopkins, with Will Cottam
The Point of the Baton: Memoir of a Conductor (John Hopkins, with William Cottam) is the personal and surprisingly candid story of John Hopkins, from his first cello lesson at sixteen, to Chief Conductor of the BBC at 24, “Mr. Music” of New Zealand, Federal Director of ABC music, founding Dean of Music at the Victorian College of the Arts, Director of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and ever an inspiring teacher. This story recounts his experience with divas and artists—Stravinsky, Te Kanawa, Ashkenazy, Arrau, Menuhin, Kodály, and Oistrakh—and his experiences conducting in Soviet Moscow, in Mao’s China, and of taking orchestral music to the dangerous townships of South Africa immediately after apartheid ended.
UP IS DOWN: A LIFE OF VIOLINIST JAN SEDIVKA (AMR 10)
By Elinor Morrisby
Jan Sedivka, violinist and pedagogue, has been a towering figure in string playing in Australia for over forty-five years. This is Sedivka’s story: it encompasses the ups and downs of his extraordinary life.
Born in Czechoslovakia in 1917, Sedivka’s precocious gift for the violin led him to study with renowned Czechoslovak masters, Otakar Ševcík and Jaroslav Kocian. Aged twenty-one, he accepted a scholarship to study in Paris but this was truncated by the outbreak of World War II. As a result of the invasion, he spent six months in a Paris prison in appalling conditions before escaping to England to become a leading performer and highly sought-after teacher.
In 1961, Sedivka accepted a position at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and migrated to Australia with his wife Beryl, violoncellist Sela Trau, and the Czech woman who had nursed him back to health in London. Victim of a “witch-hunt” and subject to police surveillance, Sedivka left Brisbane and since 1966 he has made his home in Tasmania where he established the finest string school Australia has ever known. Loyal, contrary, enigmatic, philosophical and verbose, Sedivka is also a consummate artist whose life was, and continues to be, devoted to music, his wife, and his students.
GROWING UP MAKING MUSIC: YOUTH ORCHESTRAS IN AUSTRALIA AND THE WORLD (AMR 9)
Edited by Margaret Kartomi
Growing up Making Music is the first detailed scholarly study of youth orchestras. Led by a team of researchers from Monash University in Australia, it focuses on the lives, aims, repertory, economics and educational outcomes that orchestras set out to develop. Focusing mainly on the Australian Youth Orchestra, the study also discusses orchestras from other parts of the world, including North American youth orchestras and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra established by Daniel Barenboim and the late Edward Said. This study is an important and new endeavour that is essential reading for youth orchestra personnel, music educators and researchers.
CATALOGUE OF THE HANSON-DYER MUSIC COLLECTION—UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE
Edited by Denis Herlin
For seventy-five years the music collection amassed by Éditions de l’Oiseau-Lyre’s founder, Louise B. M. Dyer—later Louise Hanson-Dyer—remained a private collection. As part of the on-going relationship between the press and the University of Melbourne, this collection has now been transferred to the Louise Hanson-Dyer Music Library at the University and is now accessible to musicians, researchers and scholars. The collection comprises some 250 prints and manuscripts dating from the 15th to the early 19th centuries. It is particularly notable for its collection of French operatic works, British publications, works of the Italian renaissance and books on music theory. The collection has been meticulously catalogued by Denis Herlin and includes a substantial introduction (in French and English) and over 50 black and white plates.