Recall.Ten Music Alumni Celebration
Nicole Murphy and her commissioned work ‘Lyrae’

On Friday 25 August Queensland Academies Creative Industries Campus (QACI) will celebrate 10 years of Musicianship inviting back Alumni to perform alongside current students some original and some cover music in our annual music showcase event.

QACI has also commissioned a work by our composer-in-residence, Nicole Murphy, which will be premiered on the night. This piece is written for two percussionists (Dr Michael Askill and Morgan Veal), piano (current student Reuben Johnson) and strings, with players from our partner organisation Rue Arts.

Australian composer Nicole Murphy’s music has been described as “exquisite, sensitive and delicate” (Sydney Morning Herald), as well as “strong and compelling” (Music Trust). She is the recipient of various awards, including the ICEBERG International Call for Scores (2017), Nief Norf International Call for Scores (2016), the MAFB International Commissioning Prize (2015), the Theodore Front International Orchestral Prize (2013), the Definiens C3 International Composer’s Award (2011), the Alan Lane Award for Composition (2004), the A.G. Francis Prize for Composition (2001) and the Collusion/QCGU Composition Prize (2004). In 2012 she was selected as the young composer to represent Australia at the 30th Asian Composers League Festival in Tel Aviv (2012).

Nicole has been commissioned by eminent arts organisations including the Australian Ballet, the Royal Academy of Dance (London), Experiments in Opera/Symphony Space (New York), the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Wild Rumpus (San Francisco), Chamber Sounds (Singapore), and the Definiens Project (Los Angeles). Her music has been performed by ensembles such as the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, NOWensemble (New York), Ars Nova (Dallas), and Halcyon (Sydney). She has received performances at numerous festivals including the Atlantic Music Festival (Maine), the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (Connecticut), the Dallas Festival of Modern Music, the Nief Norf Festival (Tennessee) and the Bowdoin International Music Festival (Maine). Her music is published by Wirripang and she holds a PhD from the University of Queensland.

The piece commissioned for the 2017 Recall.Ten Alumni Music Celebration is called Lyrae.

Lyrae was commissioned by the Queensland Academies Creative Industries campus for their 10th anniversary celebrations. It is the second piece in a series of works inspired by the night sky, which has become an object of fascination whilst completing residency projects across Western Queensland over the past four years. In these remote communities, bereft of light pollution (and internet access), I have spent many evenings star gazing. One of the interesting aspects of the night sky is the way in which at first glance you only notice the brightest stars in the sky, however, the longer you look, the more stars reveal themselves. Layers upon layers, with complex and beautiful textures that change as you observe them. Some stars flicker, coming to the fore as others recede into the background. Some are coloured in varying hues of yellow or red, some are part of larger constellations, and some collections of stars are so distant that they only appear as a faint blur across the sky.

I was particularly captivated by the ability to view the two Magellanic clouds with the naked eye. Using stars of varying luminosity (RR Lyrae), astronomers have recently located a narrow bridge of pulsating stars between the two Magellanic clouds. It is believed that the gravitational pull of the larger cloud is drawing individual stars from the smaller cloud towards it. This ‘bridge of stars’ moving between the smaller and larger Magellanic clouds is a fitting analogy for the occasion at which this this piece will premiere. The concert features works by current QACI composers, as well as alumni composers who have recently started tertiary studies, and others who are beginning to navigate their way from tertiary institutions into the greater arts community. Musically, the concepts of the night sky are reflected through pulsating gestures, through the continual shift of focus from musical gestures that represent the stars themselves to those that represent the negative space (the darkness) between the stars, and through layered textures in which musical ideas come to the fore, then recede into the background as attention is captured by new ideas.

Lyrae will be performed by Yr 11 student Reuben Johnson (piano), 2016 alumni Morgan Veal (percussion), Michael Askill (percussion teacher), and string players from our industry partners, Rue Arts.

Tickets to the Recall.Ten Music Alumni Celebration are available for $12.00.

Tickets can be purchased here.