“…when a young composer shows me a score I’m looking to be surprised, because surprise wakes me up to the world, surprise makes me see something or feel something in a way I never before expected… What does it take to move us from our customary place? And that is what we want when we confront a work of art, whether it’s a completely new creation or an impassioned performance of masterwork from the past.”
John Adams, composer
Soundstream invites donors to support its biennial 2018 Emerging Composers’ Forum (ECF).
While Australia has a formidable collection of internationally renowned composers, it’s vital that we support our next generation of composers by creating professional opportunities in which to practice their art. The Emerging Composers’ Forum raises the profile and careers of emerging composers through mentoring by Soundstream Collective and internationally acclaimed composers, critical review, public performance, recording and audience exposure to their music. On this basis, the aim of the award is to support emerging composers in creating new works, with close collaboration and mentoring by internationally recognized composers.
The emerging composers will be flown to Adelaide in 2018 to participate in rehearsals and to attend the final performance of their work by Soundstream Collective. The concert will be recorded for broadcast on ABC Classic FM and composers will receive a digital version of this recording. All the composers will receive a commission of $3000 for the creation of a new work and its subsequent performance by Soundstream Collective.
The ECF teaches emerging composers fundamental skills to grow as our future cultural leaders!
It was established in 2012, and has grown from strength to strength. The high artistic merit of the five composers’ works in 2016 was testament to the quality of the Forum. Mentoring composers are chosen for their diverse styles and ability to communicate, and are asked to talk about their own work. For example, composer Cat Hope gave an inspiring talk on how to be a good citizen: how to develop leadership skills and networks, and the fundamental need for musicians to champion their colleagues and support their peers.
Composer Eric Whitaker sums up the benefits of Emerging Composer Forums and competitions, particularly those that include lucrative commissions as is the case with the ECF:
EXPOSURE: The ECF is a vital means of raising the profile of these emerging composers’ music. The mentoring composers are leaders in their field, and they are just the sort of people who need to hear and support the new generation.
DISCIPLINE: having a public deadline with specified guidelines instills discipline in the creative process, and ensures that the emerging composer has a new work ready to shop around.
STRENGTH OF CHARACTER: Learning rejection is an important part of the process. The ECF is highly selective as it accepts only five participants Australia wide.
Eric Whitaker is a hugely successful composer, who attributes his success in no small part to rejection:
“…As a composer you are going to get turned down a lot, by conductors, by music publishers, by critics; it’s all just part of the gig. Entering competitions and not winning is a great way to get used to the lifestyle, the drive to just keep writing, forging ahead. For me, it’s been a way to develop an ‘inner-compass’, a sort of quiet confidence that it doesn’t really matter if I win or lose; the work alone is its own reward.”
All donations go directly towards the emerging composers, first and foremost supporting them through:
.$15,000 worth of commissions for future new works
.Travel and accommodation for the five composers to attend rehearsals and the final performance in Adelaide
.Travel and accommodation for the mentoring composers
.Performance by Soundstream Collective
.Nurturing of important partnerships, including national broadcast and recording by ABC Classic FM