Listen to the Australian Art Music playlist: June 2021

Our local offerings include the ongoing Australian String Quartet anthology series, featured here are from Kate Moore. Cicadidae, at Joe Chindamo’s Tempesta, and that of William Barton Square circles under the red sand of the desert. Also relatively new versions in Felcity Wilcox’s His shadow, String Quartet No.1 and Jessica Wells The parrot of the night.

There is also a long history of singer-songwriters within the Australian string quartets, from the Elektra String Quartet of Roman Crivici to the works of the Zephyr Quartet in Adelaide and Biddy Connor of The Letter String Quartet in Melbourne.

Among our international ensembles, the famous specialists in new music, the Arditti Quartet, masterfully perform Weaver’s knot (which was also performed by the Penny Quartet in Melbourne in 2017), while the UK-based Doric Quartet (some may remember from the 2019 Musica Viva season) tackle String Quartet No.1 by Brett Dean with delicate care.

Finally Yitzhak Yedid And here are the revelers again of Visions, fantasies and dances which draws inspiration from Arabic music as well as contemporary Western classical music is performed with vigor and precision by Israel’s Sapphire String Quartet.

Some personal favorites this month include Lyle Chan’s In September the light changes whose viola melody handles an exquisite and warm sadness – one of the many reasons why his Memory of an AIDS activist in music is on my saved list. that of Katie Noonan A song of hope in A major perfectly uses the quartet as a shimmering atmosphere while in that of Iain Grandage Black dogs the strings threaten to overwhelm Slava Grigoryan with an equally pleasant visceral roughness.

by Belinda Gehlert Conduct is probably one of my most listened to tracks on Spotify – it has a sweetness and momentum that finds both calming and energizing. And finally, a new discovery for me is that of Stephen Whittington windmill (also performed by the Zephyr Quartet), the opening in particular is incredibly evocative – a chorus akin to a dance of whining axles on the pitch. I can’t help but hear it as a wonderful pastoral machine at work.

Hope you enjoy some of the new faces and sounds on the Australian Art Music playlist this month – it’s been exciting to research and build. If you are looking more to listen, the entirety Australian Art Music Archives has also been updated on Spotify (now over 70 hours of music!).

Join me next month when we go south for the winter.

– Cam

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