Like the phoenix 'rising from the ashes', the recorder is presently enjoying somewhat of a renaissance itself. Six of Australia's well-known contemporary composers pair the recorder with piano, harpsichord, voice and live electronics.
The opening work, Brenton Broadstock's 'Aureole 3' is concerned with the dichotomy that exists between holy and unholy, good and evil, consonance and dissonance. Throughout, a fierce conflict between these opposing elements is fought out with harpsichord and recorder continually exchanging roles.
Amanda Baker's title piece 'Phoenix Songs' is an interplay of struggle between two forces: Robert Chamberlain's ethereal piano shimmers and thunderous outbursts match the violently articulated fragments of Genevieve Lacey's recorder; pushing both instruments to their limits - and sometimes beyond.
In Ros Bandt's 'Flight', birds hover and swoop, are caught and sustained by air currents: here the recorder soars effortlessly - flying free from all stereotypes!
Hear also Ian Shanahan's 'Helican Ribbon', Benjamin Thorn's spectacular 'Yellow Bats', and Neil Currie's 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening'.
Genevieve Lacey is a recorder virtuoso who creates new possibilities for her instrument. Her awards include an ARIA, Helpman (Namatjira), Churchill Fellowship, Freedman Fellowship, Best Performance (Australian Music Awards) and Outstanding Musician (Melbourne Prize for Music). Genevieve holds academic and performance degrees (including a doctorate) in music and English literature from institutions in Melbourne, Switzerland and Denmark.
“plenty of new territory to explore.”
— Tony Way, The Age - Green Guide
“... a testament to the strength of compositional and performing talent in Australia.”
— Australia's Journal of Recorder and Early Music
“This excellently devised and performed program displays the recorder as a valid instrument of contemporary expression.”
— Bill Hoffmann, Canberra Times
- Genevieve Lacey · recorders
- Hartley Newnham · voice · track 2
- Robert Chamberlain · piano · tracks 9—11
- Ann Murphy · harpsichord · track 1
- David Corbet · live electronics · tracks 4—6
Melbourne-based composer Amanda Baker developed a strong interest in electronic music as an alternative to what she then felt to be the unsatisfactory idioms offered by conventional media.
Ros Bandt is a composer performer and sound artist who is passionate about combining ancient and modern sonic practices. Her sound research has included building a medieval Pythagorean recorder and she directs the Australian sound design project on line at the Australian centre, The University of Melbourne.
Brenton Broadstock is now one of Australia's most well established, respected and successful mid-generation composers.
Benjamin Thorn is a composer and recorder player based in Armidale NSW. He has written music for a wide range of instrumental and vocal combinations but has gained greatest recognition for his works for the recorder. He edited the acclaimed two volume collection of mostly Australian recorder music ‘Recorders at large’ (Currency Press) and has edited various seventeenth century works for Saraband.
Currie has been the recipient of numerous commissions, including over a dozen funded by the Australia Council and a recent commission from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which resulted in Glenside for Chamber Orchestra. He now resides in Canada.
Shanahan is well-regarded as an expert in contemporary techniques for the recorder and his work in this area has done much to expand the possibilities for composers writing for this instrument.