© 2018-20 K. Travers Eira

BIOGRAPHY

Background:

My work explores themes of transformation and boundary crossings, often at the level of the slow and minute. I am interested in the re-presentation of things from one plane or medium using the language and tools of another: the spatial in the temporal, mathematical ideas in musical forms, the meeting points of visual and aural expression, the relationship between notation and performance. I am strongly drawn to the symbolism of structures at many levels, developing a work by layering realisations of an overarching symbolic, or at times ritual principle, in different dimensions. My music is essentially polyphonic, comprised largely of the simultaneous outworking of independent strands. I like to design core building blocks which then unfold through external patterns, algorithms, cyclic and recursive forms, often leaving specific choices of realisation to the performers.

As a performer, I play both traditional and new music in various gamelan ensembles (Gamelan DanAnda and Putra Panji Asmara), plus whatever is needed for my own projects. I was one of 100 percussionists performing Pisaro’s a wave and waves (Melb. Festival, 2015).

I have my Associate of Music, Australia in piano, and a Bachelor of Music (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, for which I majored in piano and medieval musicology. During the 1990s, I studied composition briefly with Ros Bandt, then returned to the University of Melbourne to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a PhD, both in linguistics. For 18 years I worked with Aboriginal people reviving their languages. In 2018 I returned to composition full time, and studied with Melody Eötvös at the University of Melbourne, and privately for a few months with Liza Lim. I am a Represented Composer with the Melbourne Composers League and a member of APRA/AMCOS.

Selected compositions:

2019 Verge. Première July 30, 2019 by Elision Ensemble (dir. Daryl Buckley), Prudence Myer Studio, Ian Potter Southbank.

2019 This is not a female body. Electro-acoustic work comprised of sounds made by a human body. And a pencil.

2019 After the Fall. The collapse of religious frameworks, and the void left behind. Half-Life - Chorale - Agoraphobia. Trio written for Ensemble Françaix (piano, oboe, bassoon). Première May 8, 2019, Hanson Dyer Hall, Ian Potter Southbank.

2019 Four studies on the Sierpinski Triangle, for percussion quartet. Four structures built on four means of generating the fractal known as the Sierpinski Triangle. Première May 8, 2019, Hanson Dyer Hall, Ian Potter Southbank. Victorian College of the Arts percussion ensemble (dir. Peter Neville). (series: maths will save your soul.)

2019 Body memory. Electro-acoustic work incorporating sounds of flight, the body, and tattooing.

2019 Friendship. Written for the choir of Mentone Girls Secondary College for the Montsalvat Choral Festival, May 5 2019. Lyrics by Sabina Eyre-Walker (a member of the choir).

2018 I watched a limpet walking. Semi-determined duo for musically mature learners of the viola. (series: do not disturb.)

2018 Tearing. Trio for soprano, cello and percussion, focussed minutely on the moment of letting go a loved one. Limited to 100 notes by the callout from A very small consortium. Première April 2, 2019, University of Wisconsin 6:30 Concert Series, Green Bay.

2018 Beyond. Semi-staged trio exploring the perspective of Eurydike as she is released to pursue her own destiny after death. Text fragments from Rainer Maria Rilke's Orpheus. Eurydike. Hermes. For soprano (Eurydike), alto flute (Hermes) and mandolin (Orpheus).

2018 Earthbound. Palindrome based on the Icarus archetype - the urgent desire to fly while being irrevocably bound to the earth. Vln, vla, cello, bass, featuring feathers. This work placed in the 2018 String songs competition. (series: white on white on white, exploring music at the edge of audibility.)

2017 Brilliant in the car park. Suite about the work of three mathematicians: Adriana Simondochter Hypatia of Alexandria Sophie Germain. Premiere 10 Mar 2017, Listening to wom*n, Serpentine Gallery, Lismore, dir. Naima Fine. (series: maths will save your soul.)

2016-17 Piano games. A suite of games for piano solo, in which slow change evolves from given starting points and rules for each Game. (Note: 7 of the Games are playable by a one-handed pianist.)

2016 The Tower of Timpanoi. The old game of the Tower of Hanoi is translated to a performance game in which a tower of sound entities is transferred between 3 timpani. Recording: Brent Miller, 2016. (series: maths will save your soul.)

2016 Gravitational: Music of the spheres for 15-30 flutes. Flashmob style instructional score which placed in the 2016 Unbound Flutes composition competition. Premiere 1-3 July 2016, Unbound Flute Festival, Brisbane.
2016 all we are. Orchestral work framed in extremely slow shifting of minimal elements. Optional loop track.

2015 afterwards. An ephemeral, semi-determined piece for very high and very low gamelan metallophones and voice. Premiere 22 July 2016, Asyik Melbourne.

2014 the shadows the light. Song cycle about hidden movement and change: Shadows – Memory (double helix) – Heyiya! (inspired by Ursula Le Guin ‘Always Coming Home’) – The Gate of Shining Light – Seams in the rocks. Lyrics: Nola Firth.

2014 Kaleidoscope. Piano solo exploring the possibilities of pivoting between harmonies to gain new ‘views’. Premiere 2014, House concert Shostakovich and Friends.

2013   Synaesthesia. Live installation suite developed in collaboration with sculptor Velislav Georgiev. For small and found-object percussion, variable instrumentation and/or voices, and electronics: Kaleidoscope – Pendulum – Stacks. Premiere 2014, Omnibus Gallery, Ballan.

2012   Nameless the Land Her Names. Designed as a journey for community participants to explore the histories of the Land, through naming practices in the local Aboriginal language and in English. Semi-determined score combining graphic, instructional and traditionally notated elements. For live and processed voices, variable instrumentation, and electronic sound surround: And From All The Lands of Earth – Reclamation – The Languages of the Land – Earth. Premiere Ballan Feast 2012.

2012/2005 Change(less). Semi-determined score based on the hexagrams of the I Ching. For two trios (variable instruments). Premiere Homophonic Feb 2016 – 3 Shades Black (dir. Miranda Hill).

2011   Variations on a Theme of Ballarat and other random inspirations. Soundtrack for Live and let’s…go have a cuppa (Wombat Regional Arts Network movie for 15/15 competition). For piano, harmonica, recorder and found-object percussion.

 

background image by Wyrda

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