Sandy Evans (NSW)

Bridge of Dreams

Sandy EvansBridge of Dreams is a major international collaborative work for 17-piece big band, Hindustani quartet (voice, harmonium, two tabla players) and saxophone soloist. This 70-minute work celebrates the creative dialogue between an exceptional group of musicians from Australia and India.

It is envisaged that Bridge of Dreams will be premiered at the Parramasala Festival in March 2018 and will be recorded for broadcast by ABC Radio National’s Live Set. A studio recording will be made for release on Rufus Records in Australia and Underscore Records in India. A documentary film is also being made about the project.

“The importance of funding composers to write new work cannot be overstated,” says Sandy.

“For me personally, the time to research, compose, experiment and collaborate on new work is one of the most precious opportunities on the planet. Receiving a commission from the Art Music Fund is allowing me to devote time to this important undertaking.”

Photo by Karen Steains

Alexander Garsden (VIC)

tolle lege, tolle lege and Alfa Canvas, after Agnes Martin

Commissioned by Speak Percussion, Alexander Garsden will compose two new works totalling 40 minutes: tolle lege, tolle lege for percussion quartet and electronics, and Alfa Canvas, after Agnes Martin for solo percussion and electronics.

Recordings of these works will be released and distributed internationally by Sofa Records coinciding with a premiere concert at Melbourne Recital Centre in 2018. Six subsequent performances spanning five Australian states and territories will take place in 2018-19.

“The Art Music Fund ensures that composers and sound artists working in contingent and aesthetically unique fields are given a special opportunity to create work in ideal environments, governed by their own pertinent criteria and not evaluated by inappropriate or irrelevant means,” says Alexander.

Samuel Holloway (NZ)

Samuel Holloway received funding to write a new work for piano trio, to be performed in 2017 by NZTrio.

“I have worked previously with the Trio and I am looking forward to working again with these curious and thoughtful musicians,” he says.

“In this new project I will continue my exploration of some recent compositional concerns relating to musical perception and structure, as well as further developing my writing for piano in an ensemble context.

“I would strongly encourage any composer with a great idea and a willing performer to apply for the Art Music Fund," says Samuel.

"Completing the application process is a good way to think through and begin development of a project. And of course it offers a rare opportunity to be generously and meaningfully funded to create work.”

Photo by Russ Flatt

Cat Hope (WA), Mark Oliveiro (NSW) & Meg Travers (WA)

With assistance from the Art Music Fund, Decibel has commissioned three new works by Cat Hope, Mark Oliveiro and Meg Travers (pictured L-R) for their Electric Concerto program at the 2017 Totally Huge New Festival in Western Australia.

The works each feature a solo electronic instrument in front of the Decibel ensemble. Meg’s work will feature a digital replica of a trautonium, Mark’s will feature iPhones, and Cat’s work will feature theremin.

Watch Meg Travers discuss electronic music and play the replica trautonium at TEDxPerth.

Cat Hope photo by Heidrum Lohr

James Hullick (VIC)


CityTopias is a suite of four new works composed by James Hullick for the BOLT Ensemble (octet) that will tour Asia and be presented at JOLT’s Horrific Sapiens Festival in November 2017. James will explore the notion of the affix of -topia and how it relates to our imaginings of 21st century society.

Each work will highlight a different aspect of audio technology that also supports the conceptual agenda of that work. Abstract video referencing utopian architectures will also feature in the project.

“The reality is that Australian composers who attempt to broaden the perceptual world of sonic culture have a history of often being totally ignored in Australia, and considered something not worth investing in by leading music institutions and ensembles,” says James.

“Many composers in Australia do it really tough. The Art Music Fund is a moment in Australian history where composers working outside the square finally get some kind of acknowledgement of their incredible contribution to our diverse and technologised 21st century culture.”

Photo by Tim McNeilage



Lisa Illean received funding to create a new work for an ensemble (soprano and acoustic instruments) with the working title Cantor.

The work will be premiered by Ensemble Offspring in spring 2017 ahead of international premieres by Asko Schönber Ensemble (Netherlands), Aventa Ensemble (Canada), Ensemble x.y (United Kingdom), Hong Kong New Music Ensemble and Stroma New Music Ensemble (New Zealand).

"As I am working across archival materials and instrumental music, being able to dedicate time and resources to researching, experimenting with, and refining this negotiation, is a critical part of creating a new work,” says Lisa.

“In collaborating with Ensemble Offspring, I’m also particularly excited to be working with musicians experienced in performing microtonal music on both familiar and bespoke instruments; and the chance this affords to experiment in this field in a very personal way.”

Photo by Catherine Pyle


Wayfaring in the Weather World 

Liza Lim received a grant to compose a 40 minute work for the internationally renowned Klangforum Wien, scored for 14 musicians.

The work looks at themes related to climate change and ecology: chaotic dynamical systems; structures and processes of turbulence; indigenous knowledge; millennial visions and anthropological understandings of weather as a way of being in the world.

Its premiere is planned for 28 April 2018 at contemporary chamber music festival
Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik with further performances in Vienna and other European cities to be confirmed.

The Art Music Fund provides resources to support composers which is much needed at a time of generally reduced government funding for individual artists in Australia,” says Liza.

“The support of the Australian Music Centre and of APRA AMCOS gives significant industry-level recognition to the field of contemporary classical music encouraging innovation and artistic risk-taking in this area.”

Photo by Klaus Rudolf

Matthias Schack-Arnott (VIC)

Field Sever Points

Matthias Schack-Arnott received a grant to create an ambitious new solo percussion work, Field Sever Points, featuring an expansive kinetic percussion instrument. It will be performed in Australia and the USA, recorded for radio broadcast and released internationally as an album.


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Through the Art Music Fund, Dan Thorpe workshopped and premiered [ false cognate ] for bass flute and electric guitar/viola at the highSCORE festival in Pavia, Italy. It has since been performed in Adelaide and Sydney with additional performances planned for 2017.

“The thing that struck me about the Art Music Fund was the diversity of the recipients. Ages, stages of career, types of projects... It's important to support new music in all of its forms, and by all those who make it," says Dan.

"As an early career composer, I was honoured to be a recipient, because those joining me all represent fascinating and different directions in new music, and to be considered even a small part of that was very humbling.”

Photo by Dennis Grauel

Erkki Veltheim (VIC)

The Ganzfeld Experiment

Erkki Veltheim received funding to compose 60 minute audiovisual work The Ganzfeld Experiment for electric violin, electronics and video projection. This work continues his research into combining live instruments with computer interfaces and explores the rise of synaesthetic hallucinations and altered states of consciousness by long exposure to a uniform stimulation field known as the 'Ganzfeld Effect'.

The Ganzfeld Experiment will premiere at the Musica nova Helsinki festival in Finland on 5 February 2017.

“The Art Music Fund encourages composers to plan long-term projects that require thorough planning and collaboration with presenting partners,” says Erkki.

“This in itself is beneficial, as it acts as an incentive to think about and propose ambitious new works and consider their extended future in both performed and recorded formats.”

Photo by Nina Gilbert

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