“First, to say that the galaxy duets (Look at the Stars) were very popular at the Pianola Museum concert. They really sounded great on the square we used.”
Aug 11: CD release concert (modern piano and square piano)
Gabriele Toia: Variations on a Ground
Ann Carr-Boyd: Look at the Stars (Mars, Spiral galaxy, Saturn, Sombrero galaxy, Pluto) (modern piano – Steinway)
Elena Kats-chernin: Green Leaf Prelude (Steinway)
Diana Blom: Modern tango (Steinway or square)
Aug 14: Symposium
Lecture/Recital: Keeping the Tempo
Hotteterre le Romain: Suite in D (harpsichord)
Debussy: Examples from La Boite a joujoux (harpsichord and piano)
Piazzolla: Fuga y misterio (square pianos)
Teaching a Master-class
Aug 16: Solo recital with Pianola samples of Debussy
Bartok: Selections from For Children (harpsichord)
Debussy: Prelude and Tableaux 1 from La Boite a joujoux (piano and harpsichord)
Kats-Chernin: Green Leaf for Elke (harpsichord)
Blom: Modern Tango (harpsichord)
Aug 18: Contemporary evening – New Frontiers
Blom: Earth Tone (square piano)
No ! – more of an entertainment – presented by the inimitable John Martin, composer/pianist and vocalist, who is renowned for charming audiences with his performances of anything from the classics to the present day.
Saturday April 21st
3 pm at the Rose Room
51F Sunninghill Avenue
John begins his new life as a resident of the Southern Highlands, by giving a recital with a delicious mix of classical favourites, jazz-era music, songs, his own music and works by his Southern Highlands friend Ann Carr-Boyd – and he may present a poem or two!
The concert will be followed by refreshments
Tickets $30 ( pay at the door )
A wonderful day was had on Friday 8th September 2017 at the Investiture Day held at Government House in Sydney at which I was delighted to receive my AM from the Governor, General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d). Everything was magnificent especially the pomp and ceremony and the surroundings of Government House.
Ann Carr-Boyd is delighted to have been made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list on June 12, 2017. This honour has been awarded for significant service to the performing arts and classical music as a composer, pianist, teacher and musicologist.
The complete Queen’s Birthday 2017 Honours list was published in the Sydney Morning Herald (online) and can be seen here .
The Southern Highlands News has also published an article recognising this latest honour. The online article is here and a list of local Awardees was also published in the June 12 edition of the SHN paper.
Australia’s Classical Music and Arts Magazine, Limelight, also published a an article featuring several Australian Artists who have been honoured this year and this article is available here .
My upcoming Spring concert ‘Thinking Of You’ is based on the work of the inimitable Ann Carr-Boyd, one of the Southern Highlands most valued resident–composers.
I first met Ann a few years back when looking for contributions by Australian women composers for our first recording. It immediately became apparent that she was a ‘hands on’ musician who loved to get into the thick of things. Present at our first rehearsal, she put us on the right track over a number of points to do with her song ‘man is so proud’ which called for a harpsichord accompaniment.
What had struck me was that Ann seemed a natural with harpsichord style – a very unusual quality because, as everybody knows, harpsichords are instruments from a different era – 17th and 18th century – and have very little to do with the 20th and 21st. It turned out that Ann had studied harpsichord in London, but, more importantly, had been encouraged to develop this skill immediately on her return to Australia in the early 70’s by harpsichordist Robert Goode. Goode himself (with his group The Consort of Sydney) was at the forefront of the transport of Australian music abroad as part of Musica Viva. On his instigation, Ann was able to contribute vastly to their repertoire….and popularity. The result is a large body of work in which the harpsichord with various and unusual combinations of instruments (violin, percussion, voice, electric organ, guitar) is central.
It’s this material that Thoroughbass has recorded as the Flying West Collection, amounting to over 120 mins of listening time. (Flying West refers to a new work which Ann wrote for Thoroughbass based on a day in the life of a Flying Doctor, for harpsichord, cello and recorder).
Last year we presented some of the more exuberant, not to say, outlandish pieces in the collection (one piece influenced by Aboriginal music is extraordinarily other-worldly). This year’s program focusses more on the intimate and philosophical side of Ann’s thinking.
Taken as a whole, and having got to know Ann through the process of preparing, recording and performing huge amounts of material, it has become apparent that Ann has a secret well of energy most of us would envy. Involved in every activity from arranging and playing duets at Piano Teacher Association Conferences, to composing new works to hands-on teaching, she is never not busy.
Ann’s status as a composer continues to flourish in Australia and oversees. In October she and I have been invited to present a concert devoted exclusively to Australian composers at the Geelvinck Festival in Amsterdam. This festival of early keyboard instruments calls on keyboard players from around the world to present music from the instruments’ origins to the present. Much new music is now being written for ‘old’ instruments with the realization that they have their own voices and need not apologize for being ancient. And Highland’s Ann Carr-Boyd has contributed significantly to this state of affairs.
Following this is the Summer concert; ‘Cock Crow: Rosemary Dobson in Words and Music’, which also focuses on a female local identity.
Rosemary Dobson had a special connection with the Southern Highlands. She was educated at Frensham School Mittagong, when its founder Winifred West was building her particular brand of schooling with its emphasis on women’s equality. Rosemary was highly influenced by and indeed retained a life-long gratitude to Winifred West for her education at Frensham. She even spent time as a teacher there before embarking on her studies at Sydney University.
About a year ago, when my sister was sorting through some bookshelves preparing to move house, she came across a bundle of our mother’s effects. It included an old vinyl recording called ‘Poets on Record’. This particular issue was by Rosemary Dobson, now recognized as one of Australia’s leading poets, who sadly died 4 years ago at the age of 92.
Rosemary and my mother had been firm friends for many years, dating from when Rosemary lived in one those spacious Federation houses at Barry St Neutral Bay. I remembered my mother telling me that a mutual friend of theirs Hazel de Burgh had the inspired idea of asking poets to read their own work as part of an historical record of poets of the age. Quite a number of recordings were made and are now kept in the National Library of Australia.
With some interest I listened to and read the eight poems on the recording. Chosen and read by Rosemary they covered an eclectic range of subjects but a few of the things that struck me as a reader was how they resonated with universal truths today, and how in tune they are with the lives of women. And while the language was dense, it was not so dense as to be impenetrable.
Now with great enthusiasm I researched Rosemary Dobson and her work. At some point, I remembered my mother telling me that she lived in Canberra, and indeed both she and her publisher husband Alec Bolton, are recognized as notable Australians at the National Library of Australia. Contact with her youngest son Ian Bolton (himself a musician working in New Zealand) revealed the fact that her complete life-times’ output had recently been published as Rosemary Dobson Collected. And there it was, on the shelf at Gleebooks.
Inspired by these wonderful poems, but focussing only on the original 8 of the recording, I felt that a concert of Rosemary’s words matched with music would be both a personal venture in memory of our mother’s friendship and an opportunity to re-discover these poems in a musical setting. So the music that I’ve chosen reflects some aspect of the poem, in one way or another. Perhaps not surprisingly, most is composed by Australians, and some of these are women.