My style is based on a variety of influences including early music and early twentieth century music and late romantic music. It is mostly classical (as opposed to popular) and tonal. I tend to use simple chords but often use non-standard sequences of harmonies. Although there are some minimalistic tendencies I tend to go for “simplicity” in preference to extreme minimalism. To me the structure of music is very important. Music shouldn’t ramble, it should be cohesive. These days most of my work is choral.
My musical training began as a child with piano studies at the local conservatorium. These were supplemented with theory and musicianship classes. My first composition dates from 1982 (I was born in 1971 – you work it out). In 1986 I moved to Australia where I continued studying piano and became active with music at school. Around this time I was also first introduced to choral music through singing at high school. After finishing secondary school (and attaining an AmusA in piano), I went on to university and joined the Melbourne University Choral Society in 1991, becoming its official accompanist the following year, a post I held until moving to the states in mid 1998.
In the intervening years I have conducted a chamber choir and have sung with the Australian National Youth Choir. However, I am primarily known as an accompanist with strong sight reading and improvising skills. I have worked as accompanist with groups including the Australian boys choir, the Melbourne chorale, Faye Dumont’s Melbourne women’s choir and Melbourne master singers and a number of intervarsity choral festivals (IVCFs). I was principal accompanist for the 1997 IVCF in Perth and was involved in the organisation of the 1998 IVCF in Melbourne.
My first choral composition was Lament, written in 1994. It was premiered by the Melbourne university choral society in October of that year and was also performed in November 1994 by the choral society of the Australian national university. It has since been broadcast a number of times on 3MBS-FM and has won third place in the 1995 Boroondara eisteddfod.
I feel that music should be able to communicate something even at first hearing. In my work I try to remain accessible even though certain twentieth century idioms are used. I feel that melody is an important element of music and shouldn’t be thrown away in order to conform with certain prevalent twentieth century styles.