A new composition competition encourages creative types to create new music for the Federation Bells. Whether you are a novice or professional, you are encouraged to use the intuitive composition timeline at www.federationbells.com.au and be in the running for prizes including $2000 cash and entrance into a composition course.
Write an original work up to five minutes in length and submit it via the website prior to Sunday July 29, 2012. Every work will be performed on the Federation Bells in Birrarung Marr, and the best will be included in the regular weekly schedules. A panel of experts will select the prizewinners who will be invited to a special premiere performance at the Federation Bells.
Free enrolment in any one short course or workshop from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music *
Get to know the Federation Bells
The City of Melbourne is running an open session to allow budding composers to get to know the Federation Bells. Join the City of Melbourne's Federation Bells Curator (Ariel Valent) and the mastermind behind the recent refurbishment of the Federation Bells (Harry Williamson) to learn about the capabilities of the installation including many recent improvements. The Federation Bells Composers' Manual will also be available.
Sunday 22 July, 2pm to 4pm
Harry Williamson from Spring Innovations will give a presentation at 2.30pm. Bring your MIDI file composition on a USB stick for a chance to hear it played on the Federation Bells.
A wealth of information to help you get the best out of the Federation Bells. Download here.
Tweaking your Composition
If you submit your composition by Tuesday 24 July, the City of Melbourne will schedule it to be played at a suitable time on Thursday 26 July. Composers can then make any final changes and submit the final version for competition judgement by Sunday 29 July.
Compositions will be assessed by three judges. The criteria are musical merit and the suitabilitity of the compositions for the Federation Bells instrument. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Yorta Yorta woman Deborah Cheetham is a highly respected soprano and composer. Deborah wrote Pecan Summer, Australia's first Indigenous opera and this work was premiered in 2010 by Deborah's company Short Black Opera. Deborah has been a featured soloist at major events including the Opening Ceremony for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Earlier this year, Deborah composed and performed Eternal Birrarung a 21st century cantata for bells and soprano to mark the re-launch of the Federation Bells.
Owen McKern has been involved with the new music scene in Melbourne for almost two decades. As a broadcaster at radio station 3RRR he produced and presented the weekly program 'Delivery' from 1998 to 2012 – a program focusing on contemporary Australian instrumental music across all genres. From 2006 to 2011 Owen was the Program Manager at fine music station 3MBS and he has also regularly been heard on ABC Classic FM filling in for a range of music programs. Owen is currently the Program Manager at specialist music station PBS 106.7FM and he also sits on the Board of contemporary percussive arts company Speak Percussion as Deputy Chair.
As Curator of Musical Instruments for the City of Melbourne, Ariel has been responsible for key initiatives with the Federation Bells, the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ and the Giant Theremin. He is also a respected composer and performer, specialising in mallet percussion. He has been Composer in Residence at the St. Kilda Botanical Gardens and his duo Invention in Time has released three CDs of original music and has toured across Australia and Europe.
* Details of short courses and workshops can be found at: http://www.conservatorium.unimelb.edu.au/programs. Value up to $355. Subject to course availability.
Compose for the bells and other information