Helen Gifford

Like Sculthorpe and Grainger before her, Australian composer Helen Gifford has found inspiration in the gamelan and Balinese music.

For me, composition functions best as a form of speculative invention, where a flux of objective/subjective considerations interact to form sounds that are intuitively engineered. Mental strategies on their own are not sufficient but focusing on craft serves to unlock instinctual responses. Whatever the approach, intellectual effort, philosophy held, state of the art, it is unlikely to be comprehensively applied as from the instant of first decision to the continuing moment-by-moment choices other forces are unwittingly brought into play. Genetic disposition, psychic energy, habit and bias all combine to modify initial calculations and so override deliberate intent. Greater rational control may block these reactions but could also cancel out the inspirational subliminal coordinative thought processes. I find that the essence of compositional method lies in determining a balance between conscious commitment and triggered reflex and resolving the conflict that arises from this creative interplay.

Helen Gifford on Helen Gifford

Compositions by Helen Gifford appear on

Astra 60

Composer

This CD captures a concert of Australian piano music given in celebration of Astra's support of Australian music and artists. For 60 years the Astra Chamber Music Society has presented new Australian music and Australian performers within a context of international new music developments, always informed by cultural perspectives.

Elektra

Composer

Australian piano music by Gifford, Gould, Ford, Yu and Michael Kieran Harvey. Elektra is an experiment in extending acoustic piano sound via computer, and was a collaboration with sound engineer Michael Hewes, who surfed the piano resonances in real time.

Hornocopia

Composer

110 minutes of horn music, from the classical to the contemporary. Many works presented here were never available on CD before and virtually all are on the current AMEB French Horn syllabus - ideal for students!

Contemporary Australian Piano

Composer

A valuable collection of Australian compositions for piano, by some of Australia's most respected and inventive composers and performed by pianist- composer, Larry Sitsky.

Hamilton

Composer

The Team of Pianists present a programme of excellent piano works for solo, duo and two pianos.