This residency intends to highlight composers and poets indigenous to North America and Australia. It seeks to create a record of new or rarely heard works and to establish a new model of comparative analysis of art song and text by showcasing work that highlights national ‘identity’ and specific artistic qualities pertinent to these countries. It will demonstrate innovative ways of working with text and music (particularly in preparation for recording) and will, ultimately, offer a viable cross-disciplinary template for both performance and recording of this material.
By exposing these little-known musical works and then transporting them into new contexts, this research project seeks to discover new ways for each cultural form to engage in ‘dialogue’ with the other to reveal more about each individual practice as a vehicle for contemplating and constructing national identity. This dialogue is expressed through the partnerships of sound, text and performance.
This work further emphasises recording and performance as a vital part of documenting and analysing the synergy between poetry/text and music. The proposed programmes represent a range of different styles, periods and influences pertaining to American and Australian life. Furthermore it charts the repertoire selection process with a view to creating a model of performance practice based on this material.
This research will, ideally, serve as an indicator of ‘New World’ sensibility and identity in song, and by careful programming of the proposed performances, the music and poetry will ultimately serve as a representative example of American and Australian ideology and experience.
There is a significant gap, in both scholarship and performance, of the exchange of both shared and differing ideologies in the representation of these two countries and their text and music. Via invitations to develop and present this research, we hope to advance knowledge and education in this area, and to encourage American and Australian composers, poets, scholars and performers to actively engage in this interdisciplinary art form.
Being far from home has been a source of both inspiration and reflection for both Jane and myself over the last decade. Our objective is to bring an innovative musical language to new audiences whilst honouring elements of our cultural heritage and outlook. Additionally, we hope to expand upon this heritage in the future by commissioning new works and exploring repertoire that has been freshly created.