Author Michael Hannan

Michael Hannan is a composer, performer and music researcher. He is the author of Peter Sculthorpe: His Music and Ideas (UQ Press, 1982), The Australian Guide to Careers in Music (MCA/UNSW Press, 2003) and The Music of Richard Meale (Wildbird, 2014). Hannan is an Adjunct Professor of Music at Southern Cross University.

Musicology Book
Australian Music and Modernism 1960-1975. By Michael Hooper

Author: Michael Hooper
Category: Musicology
New York (NY): Bloomsbury Academic, 2019, 306 pp.
ISBN:  978-1-5013-4818-1 (Hardback). Also available as an ePDF and as an eBook
Reviewed by

“This book provides a well-researched and often fascinating account of the compositional practices and the historical, cultural and philosophical contexts and issues surrounding “modernist” classical music in Australia in the period 1960-1975.”

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.”

Classical Music Recording
The Elena Kats-Chernin Collection, CDs 6 and 7

Artist/s: Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Gondwana Voices, Sally Whitwell, Genevieve Lacey, James Crabb, Tamara-Anna Cislowska, Goldner String Quartet, Laura Chislett, Viney-Grinsberg Duo, Marshall McGuire and many others.
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: ABC Classics 481 6430 (2017) - 10 CD Box Set. Reviewed in three parts by Michael Hannan. Part 2:  CDs 6 -7
Reviewed by

“These two CDs present a smorgasbord of works providing ample evidence of the composer’s remarkable stylistic versatility in a wide range of professional composition contexts.”

Ambient Music Recording
Mused Passing

Artist/s: Fred Cole (piano improvisations)
Category: Ambient, Improvisation
Label: Artist Digital Release. Available from https://ambientpiano.net/?product=mused-passing
Reviewed by

“This engaging album of improvised solo piano music highlights one of the many musical talents of Fred Cole, whose performance and composition interests range across multiple genres.”

Ambient Music Recording
The shore sang of ghosts. Steve Ashby and Vicki Hallett

Artist/s: Steve Ashby and Vicki Hallett (composers/performers)
Category: Ambient, Electroacoustic, New Music
Label: Artist Release
Bandcamp: https://vickihallett.bandcamp.com/album/the-shore-sang-of-ghosts
Reviewed by

“This intriguing 2020 recording collaboration between two performer/composer/sound artists living on different continents is testament to the creative resilience, resourcefulness and inventiveness of artists during the pandemic.”

Classical Music Recording
Classic Kids: Sounds Like Australia – A musical tale of the Australian Landscape. Ensemble Offspring

Artist/s: Ensemble Offspring (music), Luke Carroll (narrator), Compositions by Ross Edwards, Nigel Westlake, Iain Grandage, Jessica Wells, and Martin Wesley-Smith; underscores and themes (Jessica Wells); script (Tim Bosanquet)
Category: Classical, Music for children, Narrative, New Music
Label: ABC Classics 677 8759 (2018)
Reviewed by

“Sounds like Australia is an educational story for “early childhood”-aged kids narrated by Play School’s Luke Carroll, and combined with Australian compositions superbly recorded by Ensemble Offspring.”

Experimental Music Music Recording
Café Grand Abyss

Artist/s: Alvin Curran (piano/sampler/shofar), Jon Rose (violin/amplified tenor violin/6-string drainpipe/ singing saw)
Category: Experimental Music, Improvisation
Label: Released by Recommended Records (ReR Megacorp),  ReR JRAC LC - 02677
Reviewed by

“Seasoned music experimentalists, American Alvin Curran and Australian Jon Rose, take the listener on a wild ride around the free improvisation cabaret circuit.”

Classical Music Recording
Inventions

Artist/s: Alex Raineri (piano). Works by James Ledger, Corrina Bonshek, Samantha Wolf, Chris Dench, Samuel Smith and Liam Flenady
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: 2 CDs. Artist release: available from www.alexraineri.com/online-shop/
Reviewed by

“Alex Raineri gives brilliant interpretations of impressive solo piano works he has commissioned from six Australian composers.”

Classical Music Recording
Incantations: Chamber Music by Ross Edwards

Artist/s: Australia Ensemble, Bernadette Harvey, the Goldner String Quartet, Claire Edwardes, Karin Schaupp, the New Sydney Wind Quintet, the Apollo Trio, Riley Lee, the Enigma Quartet, Alexandre Oguey, the Viney-Grinberg Piano Duo, Jason Noble, Melissa Doecke, Mark Isaacs and The Seymour Group.
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: ABC Classics 481 7683 (2018), 2 CDs
Reviewed by

“A stellar group of ensembles and soloists perform a good percentage of the very impressive chamber music œuvre of the indefatigable Ross Edwards.”

Classical Music Recording
Peter Sculthorpe: The Fifth Continent

Artist/s: Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, soloists
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: ABC Classics,  ABC 481 4256 (2016). (Volume 95 of 1000 Years of Classical Music)
Reviewed by

“The Fifth Continent is an attractive selection of Peter Sculthorpe’s works for orchestra, superbly recorded by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra under the direction of David Porcelijn.”

Classical Music Recording
Transformation: Music for Percussion, Piano and Electronics. Works by Roger Smalley

Artist/s: Adam Pinto (piano), Paul Tanner (percussion), Chris Tonkin (electronics)
Category: Classical, Electronic Music, New Music
Label: Tall Poppies TP256 (2017)
Reviewed by

“Performers Adam Pinto, Paul Tanner, and Chris Tonkin have dedicated this meticulously recorded CD to the composer of all the pieces, Roger Smalley (1943-2015), their ‘teacher, mentor and friend’.”

Classical Music Recording
Clairaudient

Artist/s: Claire Edwardes (percussion), with Jason Noble (clarinet). Works by Vincent Ho, Melody Eötvös, Damien Ricketson, Marcus Whale/Tom Smith and Steve Reich.
Category: Classical, Electronic Music, New Music
Label: Move Records MD 3416 (2017)
Reviewed by

“Clariaudient is a fascinating collection of recent works for solo percussion and fixed- media electronic music, superbly interpreted by Claire Edwards.”

Classical Music Recording
The Sonata Project

Artist/s: Bernadette Harvey (piano). Works by Ross Edwards, Melody Eötvös, Aristea Mellos and Jane Stanley
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: Tall Poppies Records TP251 (2017)
Reviewed by

“The Sonata Project is an outstanding initiative of Bernadette Harvey: the commissioning of women composers to write “large-scale” compositions for solo piano.”

Choral music Music Live
New Sounds Brisbane, LIVE PERFORMANCES. Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Southbank, Brisbane, November 9, 2017.

Artist/s: Over three performances: 1. QCGU Strings conducted by Graeme Jennings. 2. The Australian Voices directed by Gordon Hamilton. 3. Clocked Out (Vanessa Tomlinson [percussion] and Erik Griswold [prepared piano]) with Simone De Haan (trombone), Anne Le Baron (harp), Brodie McAllister (trombone group director), Ben Marks (sound relocation), QCGU trombones (11 players) and QCGU percussion (8 players)
Category: Choral music, Classical, Improvisation, Music Live, New Music
Reviewed by

New Sounds Brisbane was a festival of new music over two days. This review encompasses three performances on day two.

Classical Music Recording
Song of the Central Tree: Recordings from the Steinkjer Kirke, Norway. Ron Nagorcka

Artist/s: Ron Nagorcka (composer/basso profondo/didjeridu/MIDI keyboard) with Keith Harrison (lyrics), Peter Bamford (lyrics), Sten Ivar Frydenlund (conductor /trumpet), Ole Jørgen Melhus (trombone), Nina Saurtherhaug (contralto), David Scott Hamnes (pipe organ), Håkan Henriksen (double bass), Brita Sjöberg (pipe organ), Thomas Grubb (pipe organ)
Category: Classical, Experimental Music, New Music
Label: Ravello Records RR7924. CD available from Amazon; downloads/streaming from iTunes, Spotify
www.ravellorecords.com
Reviewed by

“Ron Nagorka’s Song of the Central Tree is an intriguing melange of instruments, voices, nature sound samples and strange tunings.”

Musicology Book
Here and Now: Artistic Research in Music: An Australian Perspective

Author: Edited by Vanessa Tomlinson and Toby Wren
Category: Musicology
Intelligent Arts, Albany (NY), 2016. Available from Amazon, iTunes
ISBN 9780988889699 (e-book)
Reviewed by

“Here and Now provides a snapshot of the impressive research-informed creative and performance work being carried out at the Queensland Conservatorium by staff, research affiliates and graduate students.”

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