"Kingfisher – Songs for Halcyon is a substantial project. It has expanded significantly the repertoire of contemporary Australian song, leaving an enduring gift for the future."
"The recording sound is mellifluous and lucid, the liner notes comprehensive. In a sense, this is a beguiling sampler of recent Australian music and a testament to 15 years of Halcyon music-making."
15 & 29 March
Sydney Conservatorium of Music
with Daniel Brown
15th birthday celebration
and Kingfisher preview show
23rd October at 7pm
Museum of Contemporary Art
ABOUT THE PROJECT
In 2013/14 Halcyon proudly presented Kingfisher, Songs for Halcyon - a seminal commissioning project to celebrate 15 years of music making by Australia’s leading ensemble for vocal chamber music.
Kingfisher has contributed significantly to the existing repertoire available for singer and small ensemble, not only expanding the quantity of Australian vocal chamber music available for performance but also creating an important legacy. The project featured two live concert performances as well as the production of the Kingfisher CD.
For Kingfisher, Halcyon commissioned songs by no less than 21 of Australia’s most recognised and admired composers, some of whom also happened to be established friends of the ensemble! Each of these talented people were chosen for their unique voice in writing for singers and for their important contribution to Australian vocal repertoire to date. We’re delighted and humbled that so many of our favourite composers, without hesitation, agreed to join us for this exciting venture.
Halcyon then directors Alison Morgan and Jenny Duck-Chong set a task for the composers to write a short (less than 4 minute) chamber song, inspired by the word 'halcyon'. Encompassing all meanings of the word, it could range from the legendary bird that was said to calm the stormy waters, to the ocean and its moods, to a fearless ensemble that explores new and rarely heard music!
A selection of these songs were previewed on Wednesday 23 October at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where we celebrated 15 years of music making in style.
The complete collection of these wonderful Australian songs was premiered across two separate twilight programs at the Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music on March 15 and 29 at 6pm.
Recordings of the 21 works were made at Trackdown Scoring Stage in May-July 2014. The final CD was released through Tall Poppies on November 15 2015.
Alison Morgan soprano, Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano, Laura Chislett Jones flutes, Jason Noble clarinets, Geoffrey Gartner cello, Jess Ciampa & William Jackson percussion
Resonate blogs on the project by
The concerts were presented in association with the Australian Music Centre
The performances were assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.