The String Quartet Project

Recently, I was selected as one of six composers from around the country to take part in the Flinders Quartet Composers Development Program, with mentorship from composer Stuart Greenbaum. We spent the week work-shopping our pieces, recording them at 3MBS Studio, as well as a live concert performance at the Docklands in Melbourne. I’m very grateful to Zoe, Helen, Nick, Thibaut and Stuart for the opportunity, their insights, experience and willingness to experiment!

My piece is called The String Quartet Project and currently consists of two movements which I will continually add to. If you’re interested in seeing the score, please reach out.



The String Quartet Project is the beginning of a journey that will never be entirely completed. I will continue to add new movements to the piece ad infinitum, or more crudely, until I die. This suite of music will grow and grow, each movement informing the next, a link in the chain. The compositional approach of subsequent movements will be informed by the ensembles who perform it, each string quartet leaving their mark on the work as a whole.

I - The Slow Unfolding of the Self

These are the first marks made for the work. I wanted each note to have gravitas, hence the slow, austere mood. It is almost without pulse and utilises frequent dove-tailing. Harmonically, I've been inspired by the work of the American composer Elliott Carter.

II - Foreign Gravity

The second movement oscillates between soloist and the ensemble in a call and response-like fashion. Instructions to play freely, steady and aggressively are given. It consists of hocket-like sections, all-interval tetrachords and an absence of extended techniques.

a new quartet album

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of hitting the the studio in Melbourne to record a bunch of new pieces I've been working on with some of my favourite Australian musicians: Jamie Oehlers (sax), Ollie McGill (piano) and Dave Beck (drums). The tunes each have a different conceptual framework - often with a focus on the rhythm structures and harmonic ambiguity - from which there is a lot of space for improvisation. This project is new territory for me in terms of composition as a lot of the heavy lifting had to be done conceptually before a note was sounded.

Ollie and I workshopped the tunes in September, had a couple of rehearsals with Dave before the session and Jamie rocked up to the studio without any prior rehearsals and they all killed it! It's currently getting mixed by my friend and long-term collaborator Magnus Lindberg over in Stockholm and Tina Stefanou is making artwork to accompany the album. I'm very fortunate to have support from the Australia Council for the Arts and Arts Initiative.

Still figuring out the release plans but it looks like we'll release it next year and play some shows too.


from Paris to Aus

Having recently arrived back in Australia after being based in Paris this year, I thought I'd share a few highlights:

  • performing an 11-hour structured improvisation at Salt Musuem in Istanbul, Turkey
  • writing 'The Great Unrest' for Ensemble Nouveau
  • participating in a one week improvisation course with American composer Mark Applebaum in Viitasaari, Finland as part of the Time Of Music festival in July
  • attending Manifeste 2017 at IRCAM in Paris for two weeks in June
  • taking a lesson [and hanging] with Dutch improvising double bassist Wilbert de Joode for an afternoon in whilst in Amsterdam 
  • attending analysis classes with French composer Jean-Luc Herve in Paris (which was also helpful for learning French)
  • making soundtracks to accompany experimental short films made by Tina Stefanou
  • seeing 'Mokumentary of a Contemporary Saviour' by Wim Vanderkeybus in Paris
  • watching Hakon Thelin (double bassist from Oslo) perform in Finland with his trio Poing
  • discovering that the double bass is my soul-mate
  • learning to sail in Croatia
  • alleviating myself of RSI (repetitive stress injury) after suffering for the better part of three years

Now I'll be based in Sydney for a while, doing some studies and working on a bunch of projects including recording an album in October with three of my favourite musicians. 

Upcoming gigs:

  • August 28 - with 'the music box project' and Ashley BathGate from Bang on a Can Allstars
  • September 1 - with NOU and The Twoks.