The Growing Edge
The Growing Edge
Music as Industry

Written by: Justin O'Connor

This essay, begun during the 2020 lockdown in Victoria, grew out of a growing (and widely shared) frustration at the Federal Government’s apparent willingness to let the arts and cultural sector, especially live performance, go to the wall. Rather than…

Music Education
Latest Music & Book Reviews
Musicology Book
Distant Dreams: The Correspondence of Percy Grainger and Burnett Cross,1946–60

Author: Editors: Teresa Balough and Kay Dreyfus
Category: Musicology, Technology
Melbourne, Australia: Lyrebird Press, 2020. 199 pp.
ISBN: 9780734037947 (e-book available)
Reviewed by

‘… Percy was trying to break away from the established ways of doing things, from the halftone scale, from the regularities of established music, [that] he was in fact searching for something new.’ Burnett Cross, ‘Free Music’ (c.1978)

Memoir Book
Loud. By Tana Douglas

Author: Tana Douglas
Category: Memoir
Sydney: ABC Books 2021. 352pp.
ISBN 9780733340901
Reviewed by

“A pioneering woman in the music touring industry lets us inside the fun and challenges of life behind the amplifiers.”

Classical Music Recording
Andrew Anderson: Piano Quartets 1 & 2. Australia Piano Quartet 

Artist/s: Australia Piano Quartet - Kristian Winther (violin), James Wannan (viola), Thomas Rann (cello),  Daniel de Borah (piano) 
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: Navona Records NV6235
Reviewed by

A superb recording of works by a composer that deserves to be better known, and an ensemble deserving of greater profile.

Jazz Music Recording
Big Ears. By Delay 45

Artist/s: Delay 45. Tom Avgenicos (trumpet), Roshan Kumarage (piano), Dave Quinn (bass), Ashley Stoneham (drums)
Category: Jazz
Label: Static Records
Reviewed by

“The four members of Delay 45 have developed an approach to performing that is creative and individual…”

Classical Music Recording
The Elena Kats-Chernin Collection. Part 3:  CDs 8 -10: Previously Unreleased Recordings

Artist/s: Australian World Orchestra (cond. Alexander Briger), Kees Boersma, Timpothy Dunin, Alex Harvey, Max McBride, Kirsty McCahon, Maththew McDonald, Robert Nairn, Caro Vigilante (double basses), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (cond. Bram Tovey), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (cond. Benjamin Northey), Claire Edwards (percussion), Jane Sheldon (soprano), Ironwood String Quartet, Lorelei Dowling (bassoon), Elena Kats-Chernin (piano), Amelia Farrugia (soprano), Luminescence Chamber Singers, Tamara-Anna Cislowska (piano), Guy Noble (narrator), Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (cond. David Stanhope), Stephanie McCallum (piano).
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: ABC Classics 481 6430 (2017) - 10 CD Box Set. Reviewed in three parts by Michael Hannan
Reviewed by

“Further evidence of Elena Kats-Chernin’s impressive career can be found on the last three CDs of her 10-CD Collection. Although all the works presented are drawn from previously unreleased recordings, dating back up to twenty years, a high level of composition, performance and sound quality is maintained throughout.”

Avant Pop Music Recording
A Fog Like Liars’ Loving. Leider ensemble

Artist/s: Leider. Rishin Singh (trombone & music & lyrics), Annie Gårlid (viola & voice), Derek Shirley (cello & percussion) and Stine Sterne (flute & voice)
Category: Avant Pop, Contemporary, New Music
Label: Beacon Sound. LP and digital.
Reviewed by

It is certainly a very beautiful album, and also very addictive. A Fog Like Liars Loving is a first collection of what I hope will be much more music from Rishin Singh and Leider.

Contemporary Music Recording
The Lives of Others. By You Am I

Artist/s: You Am I. Tim Rogers (guitars/vocals), Davey Lane (guitars/vocals), Andy Kent (bass), Russell Hopkinson (drums)
Category: Contemporary, Rock
Label: Caroline (Universal), to be released on May 14
Reviewed by

“Nothing about The Lives of Others sounds remote. It feels like they are all together in a room, inspired, excited.”

Classical Music Recording
Mendelssohn String Quartets. By Tinalley String Quartet.

Artist/s: Tinalley String Quartet. Adam Chalabi and Lerida Delbridge (violins), Justin Williams (viola), Patrick Murphy (cello)
Category: Classical
Label: ABC 0028948554959 (digital release)
CD purchase:
Reviewed by

“The Tinalley Quartet rise to an astonishing level of engagement, taking extraordinary risks to deliver a truly memorable recording of a composer at the height of his powers.”

Jazz Music Recording
Living: Paul Cutlan String Project

Artist/s: Paul Cutlan String Project. Paul Cutlan (bass clarinet/clarinet/soprano sax), Lisa Pallandi, Caroline Hopson (violins), James Eccles (viola), Oliver Miller (cello), Brett Hirst (double bass), Gary Daley (piano), Tunji Beier (cajon/kanjira/kannakol).
Category: Jazz
Label: Earshift Music Ear043. CD, booklet
Reviewed by

“This is a really enjoyable album of original writing for clarinet and saxophone, strings, piano and percussion, that ranges from joyous life-affirming pieces to a meditation on war, death, frailty and ultimately, peace.”

Art Songs
The Night Parrot, by Jessica Wells

Artist/s: Morgan England-Jones (soprano), Acacia Quartet: Lisa Stewart (violin), Myee Clohessy (violin), Stefan Duwe (viola), Anna Martin-Scrase (cello)
Category: Art Songs, Classical, New Music
Label: ABC Digital Album ABC 0028948556892
Reviewed by

“The compelling story of colonial destruction, then the rediscovery and preservation of Australian night parrots, long thought to be extinct, inspired this attractive song cycle composed by Jessica Wells. It celebrates the fact that when disparate interest groups put aside their differences and work together, such precious creatures may be saved…”

Filmed performance Documentary
Strauss: Enoch Arden (1897) Op. 38 

Artist/s: Alex Raineri (piano), Matthew Connell (narrator), Jak Scanlon (video composition)
Category: Filmed performance
Reviewed by

A very fruitful ‘collaboration’ to present Richard Strauss’s telling of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s tale, focussing upon ‘storytelling, imagination and music’. It incorporates new elements to redefine the old, and hopefully will inspire others to consider how this work might be reinvented in the 21st century. 

Art Songs
Women of Note: A Century of Australian Composers. Volume 3

Artist/s: Composers: Anne Cawrse, Caewen Martin, Nardia Simpson, Holly Harrison, Katia Beaugeais, Elena Kats-Chernin, Fiona Loader. Performers include Riley Lee, Benaud Trio, Amir Farid, ACO Collective, Ewen and Lachlan Bramble from Adelaide Symphony, Enigma Quartet, Ensemble Offspring, Morgan England-Jones, Acacia String Quartet, Genevieve Lacey
Category: Art Songs, Classical, New Music
Label: Digital, ABC Classic. Available through all digital platforms 
Reviewed by

“Treat yourself to a feast of music on this superbly heterogeneous album, representing the voices of some of the best of Australia’s contemporary composers.”