Gardener of Time: Barry Conyngham at 75
This double-CD contains seven orchestral works, all by composer Barry Conyngham perhaps Australia’s most international composer, with premieres and performances of his works in Japan, America, Europe, Russia and throughout Australia. The Ormond Ensemble is conducted by Richard Davis.
Over his long career as a composer, Barry Conyngham has published over 100 works. In his compositions, Barry has often enjoyed using titles that convey multiple meanings and suggest musical processes. Many of the titles embody the suffix ‘-ing’, suggesting something unfinished, or in the process of unfolding.
This is a bouquet from the garden of his musical imagination, and indeed most of these works are infused with a vivid and specific sense of landscape. These diverse landscapes, brought to life in sound, are also animated by a multitude of human energies, as the soloists and the ensemble move together with the vectored synergies that Barry imagined. This sound garden allows us to savour the world of colours, gestures, and resonances in Barry’s music.
The Ormond Ensemble ranges from a small chamber group to a substantial chamber orchestra. It is based at the Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne. On the Gardener of Time CD it is conduced by Richard Davis.
Ken Murray is a Melbourne-based guitarist and composer.
Rob Nairn was appointed Associate Professor of Double Bass at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music in 2017, having previously taught on the faculties of the Juilliard School and Penn State University.
Lyric mezzo-soprano Linda Barcan trained at the Conservatorium of Newcastle, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).
Richard Davis is Chief Conductor and Head of Orchestral Studies at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. He regularly conducts orchestras such as the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic in concerts, recordings, national radio broadcasts and on television.
“A collection of orchestral works by Barry Conyngham ... His Japanese-infused aesthetic has stayed consistent over the decades and exerts a tantalising pull with its abstractly beautiful if sometimes uneasy sounds. The title work creates a gentle kaleidoscope of texture ... Live performances by The Ormond Ensemble and Melbourne Conservatorium String Ensemble under conductor Richard Davis are riveting.” ★★★★½
— Graham Strahle, The Australian
“Barry Conyngham’s fascinating, original and engaging new CD provides an hour and a half of fascinating, original and engaging music from one of Australia’s most revered composers whose music though modern in idioms is nonetheless very approachable to the average listener. The title piece is taken from an essay by Takemitsu based on a poem by Australian teenager Susan Morrison including the lines ”Hours are the leaves of life – And I am their gardener- Each hour falls down slow.” Kangaroo Island, a concerto for Double Bass invoking different aspects of one of his favourite locations – the five movements really show off the dexterity of the instrument played so well by Robert Nairn as well as highlighting the attractions of the island.”
— Tony Burke, classikON
“A wonderful collection of recent works from one of Australia’s most important composers. ... what strikes me about Barry’s music is its devotion to what he once described to me as being ‘humane’ – concerned with the outcast, be it a visionary or a convict, and with the environment, built or natural. As his music has unfolded much has remained constant, and it’s been fascinating to hear how that manifests in this collection of mainly recent pieces.”Read full review
— Gordon Kerry, Music Trust Loud Mouth e-zine
- To The Edge Barry Conyngham
- Mallorca Serenade Barry Conyngham
- Coastline – Seals – Visitors
- Flatland – Kangaroos – Roadkill
- Caves – Bats – Wonders
- Treeline – Koalas – Survival
- Skyline – Bees – Captives
Kangaroo Island: Concerto for double bass and orchestra Barry Conyngham
- The Ormond Ensemble · ensemble · all except track 2-6
- The Melbourne Conservatorium String Ensemble · ensemble · track 2-6
- Ken Murray · guitar · track 2
- Robert Nairn · double bass · tracks 3—7
- Linda Barcan · mezzo soprano · track 2-4
- Richard Davis · conductor
Born in Sydney Australia, Barry Conyngham has received numerous awards, prizes and grants for composition, including Churchill (1970), Harkness (1972-74), Australia Council (1974-5), and Senior Fulbright (1982) Fellowships. He has an ARIA, two Sounds Australian Critics Awards and two Maggs Awards.
Where to buy
Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.