On March 26th 2023 the Sydney Youth Orchestra performed my orchestral work Śūnyatā as part of their La Mer program under the baton of Toby Thatcher. It was a fantastic performance by the SYO which I was lucky enough to be able to attend with my family. This was actually the first time I'd been able to hear the piece live as previous performances all happened during the pandemic lockdowns. I'm very pleased to say that the work was very well received by the audience!
Link to the concert here
Excited to announce that my track 'Energetic Force' is now available on bandcamp.
Originally composed for the Sydney Dance Company PPY performance 'Energetic Force' by choreographer Miranda Wheen. All text is taken from interviews with the dancers as they transition into their first year of full time dance. The work explores the boundaries between dancing for fun and dancing professionally. The emotions and reasons as to why we dance.
This is the first half of the full track used for the production. It pairs with 'Anything in the World' which will be released shortly!
Most fun was using the sample 'Pump Up the Jam' which one of the dancers sang in their interview. Full permission for it's use has been given by the artists Jo Bogaert and Manuela Kamosi.
The gorgeous artwork for the track is by the ever talented Samantha Fin, originally used for our collaboration 'Chromoson'.
Great to be able to share that the live performance of Circumstance 2020 from August 2022 is now available to be viewed on YouTube. Conducted by Roger Benedict and performed by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music String Orchestra the performance was a fantastic success. The full score and parts will be available soon through the Australian Music Centre.
Fiona's latest release is the orchestral work 'Śūnyatā' (pronounced shoonyata). Fiona is a finalist in the APRA Australian Music Centre Art Music Awards for 'Work of the Year, Large Ensemble' for this composition.
The work was recorded by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2022 via livestream, supported by CreateNSW and co-produced by Joe Benjamin and Fiona. The track was mixed by the fabulous Sean Carey and mastered by the Grammy award winning William Bowden and is now ready for your listening pleasure!! (Listen via the links below).
This piece was composed over a couple of years in workshops with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra as part of the Composing Women Program. The first workshop was in 2020 via zoom and live YouTube stream. The piece was then re-worked and workshopped and performed by the TSO in 2021 - again via livestream for the people in NSW! (Watch out for the Resonate article outlining this process!)
Based on Neolithic Goddess Mythology and the concept of a Deep Spiral which connects us to the earth the term 'Śūnyatā' is a Sanskrit word which has multiple meanings depending on its doctrinal context. It is generally described as 'emptiness' and relates to the concept of the world being empty of a self or anything relating to a self...
Track artwork by gorgeously talented Rachelle Kellett
The score is now available through the Australian Music Centre here
You can listen on all major streaming platforms: Spotify and Apple Music taking a while but please listen on Tidal or YouTube!!
EarthBound - Concert Series
Fiona is co-curating electroacoustic music concert 'EarthBound' in collaboration with Lamorna Nightingale and BackStage Music.
August 25th - Hazelbrook, Blue Mountains
August 26th - Cope Street, Waterloo
The program brings together female identifying composers and performers from far flung parts of the globe, South Korea to Armidale, Melbourne and Western Sydney. Works from Unsuk Chin, Ros Bandt, Donna Hewitt and Felicity Wilcox will be presented alongside a newly commissioned work created in collaboration between Veronique Serret and early career artist Emma Harlock.
Featuring Alana Blackburn on recorder, Veronique Serret on violin, Emma Harlock on bass guitar and Fiona Hill on live electronics the program includes Unsuk Chin's Double Bind? (Australian premiere) for violin and live electronics. This extraordinary work grapples with the tension between the physical and human-altered - a wildly imagined perspective on the musician as instrument and agent of change.
This is going to be an exciting opportunity to hear these little performed electroacoustic works so be sure to book your tickets soon!
You can book tickets through the BackStage Music website and eventbrite here
Ukaria Residency Article
A lovely article on the Ukaria Cultural Centre website this weekend about my recent residency. It was such a joy and a privilege to have ten whole days to be creative! As well as having time to myself to devise the work fellow creatives joined me to come and play and discover in the space: Sue Healey, Lisa Synnott, Hilary Kleinig, Sam Oster, and Mike Lim. So grateful to the Ukaria Cultural Centre and the Australia Council for the Arts in supporting this incredible residency initiative!!
You can read more about the process and upcoming work in the article here
I'm very honoured to announce that I'm the winner of the 1st Stelvio Cipriani Composition Competition for Film Music 2022. From over 200 international entries in the first round, down to 60 in the semi finals, then 4 in the finals. I'm still pinching myself! I'm looking forward to heading to Rome later in the year to the awards ceremony and to meet all the judges and the other finalists.
The last month has been a busy one preparing the sound design and backing tracks for the upcoming Sydney Children's Choir show Hypnopompia (or the edge of the unkown). Artistic Director Lyn Williams and Stage Director Alexander Berlage and the incredible team at Gondwana Choirs are putting on this remarkable show with the Senior Choir who are sounding stunning! With a diverse range of repertoire from Australian composers and Contemporary artists this show explores the edge of adulthood and finding a new sense of reality. This week has been particularly exciting seeing and hearing all the elements come together for opening night this Thursday 23rd June.
About the show:
Hypnopompia (or the edge of the unknown) explores the edge of adulthood and finding a new sense of reality – what it is to be a teenager and grow up in an uncertain world. Looking around at a world filled with war, climate change, celebrity influencers, and the pressures of social media, Hypnopompia (or the edge of the unknown) explores the place of young people in the strange nightmare that is our century, and questions what is real and what is not. It’s a sonic journey – a gamut of musical styles, pushing and pulling against each other, filled with magnetism and electricity.
Ground-breaking works of the children’s choir repertoire will go hand in hand with new arrangements of electro-acoustic hits by Sufjan Stevens, Fever Ray, ANONHI and Billie Eilish. In a first for the Sydney Children’s Choir, Artistic Director Lyn Williams is joined by stage director Alexander Berlage (American Psycho, Cry-Baby), two-time winner of the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Direction of a Musical.
Book tickets here
Cipriani Competition Finalist
Excited to announce that I'm one of four finalists in the Cipriani Film Scoring competition alongside international composers Minzuo Lu from China, Satoshi Kanno from Japan and Giuseppe Gammino from Italy. From over 200 international entries we're now down to the final four. We have one more submission to make by the end of May then the winner will be announced on June 15th.
It's such an honour to make it this far in the competition, especially amongst such talented composers. It's also been a lot of fun diving into the music of Stelvio Cipriani, one of the great Italian film composers.
Listen to one of his great tracks "Mary's Theme" here
Bass Instincts review
"...was a fine vehicle in which to transport us to the emotion and reality of modern cruelties. The agony of imprisonment was vividly painted for us." - Paul Nolan review in the Sydney Arts Guide
You can read the full review from Paul Nolan from the Bass Instincts concert at the Utzon room last month here
A great review from this stunning concert which will be repeated in both Melbourne and Canberra.
You can get tickets for the Melbourne show which is at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Sunday April 10th at 3pm here
Tickets for the Canberra show at the Wesley Music Centre which is 24th April at 5pm are available here
Here I share my latest news, thoughts and processes on my projects.