Greetings for the new week.
Some key Australian musicians were awarded honours in the recent Queen’s Birthday honours. Conductor, artistic director and advisor, and passionate advocate for music education, Richard Gill, composer and radio presenter Andrew Ford, and singer-songwriter Kate Cebrano, are three such musicians to be awarded this year. As a qualified music therapist I was also delighted to see that Professor Denise Grocke has been awarded for her work as an Australian pioneer of music therapy programs, as well as the founding director of Theme and Variations and supporter of Australian music, Ara Vartoukian (OAM). The Australian Music Centre’s report can be found at:
I learned only recently of a new organisation (well, new to me) – Making Waves, an independently–run project initiated by Australian composers Peggy Polias (NSW) and Lisa Cheney (Vic), who curate a monthly free one-hour playlist that streams works by living Australian composers. A fantastic contribution to the development and promotion of new Australian music. Go to www.makingwavesnewmusic.com to find out more.
And on local music news, the wonderful local music presenter, Live at the Village, is presenting a special performance this coming Saturday, 25 June, 8pm at the Presbyterian Church in Macquarie Road, Springwood. This special event is ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’ – a silent movie with a live performance of music by Phillip Johnstone. The Live at the Village website tells us that:
‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) is a silent silhouette animation by Lotte Reiniger which appeals to people of all ages. The stories in this exquisite feature length film are taken from The Arabian Nights.
Saxophonist Phillip Johnston has been creating original scores for silent films for two decades and here at Springwood he leads a quartet of outstanding jazz musicians – Alister Spence, Ben Gurton & Casey Golden. Phillip’s silent film shows have been acclaimed in Europe, Australia and the US including the 2014 Vivid Festival and MONA FOMA.’
Live at the Village is offering a special Winter deal for this event - $25 if you purchase a ticket by this coming Wednesday. Please go to their website at http://www.liveatthevillage.com.au/blog/
More local music news features the latest presentation from the Blue Mountains Musical Society - 'West Side Story', also in Springwood, which I was lucky enough to attend last Saturday night. Many of us know the music of this fabulous work - music by Leonard Bernstein and libretto by Stephen Sondheim - and for me the music continues to be an outstanding score. The story, an updated version of 'Romeo and Juliet', can also serve as a metaphor of our times; how hate leads to more hate, how hate only leads to more destruction, how it would help to somehow allow forgiveness and compassion to rise. It was a terrific community rendition of a fabulous work, and I recommend it. Go to the Blue Mountains Theatre & Community Hub to book tickets at the following link:
And now to this week’s featured music. This week I’d like to feature ‘Hymn to the Mountains (1)’ from my most recent album, ‘Places with high levels of natural beauty’. The changing moods of the Mountains in winter made me think of this piece over the last couple of days, so I played it when I was making breakfast this morning, and thought, yes, this is what I will share with you this week, my little homage to the place in which I live. (For more information on the ‘Places’ CD go to the webpages on this site http://petawilliams.com.au/music_products/ or http://www.petawilliams.com.au/music_cd_baby/).
Until next time,
PS Scroll down to the bottom of this web page to play the featured music.