Michael’s aim as a composer is to engage the craft of composition and the eclectic nature of musical experience to create compositions of a unique character. Diverse musical experience provides a wealth of viewpoint and musical consideration, which supply the craftsman with tools, sound-worlds and ideas for blending new music. This diversity embraces not only contemporary art music practices such as poly-rhythms, poly chords, pointillism and extended techniques, but popular and ethnic musical nuance and gesture. Inspirations for new works are found in music itself of course, but also in ideas of science, the love of nature and from music itself.
Michael consciously uses his particular musical experiences (Hard Rock, Bebop, Funk, Classical, Flamenco, and Eastern musics) as springboards for creativity. His works for guitar entitled Eclectic Fantasies, aim to embody his own musical imagination. These range from colourful modernist pieces to a jazz nocturne, a furious latin piece, a rhapsody and a quintessential guitar piece filled with idiomatic ideas.
Michael’s most recent compositions are exemplary of his interest in genre and style synthesis in new music. His creative workings often utilize “contaminations” of genre signs and ideas in other musical contexts that do not necessarily intend to create disassociations from any particular preconceptions, but to experiment in complimentary associations of what may often be deemed disparate elements. The goal is the enhancement of musical context, form, expression and audience resonance.
Michael is also interested in extra-musical inspiration for new works. He has recently composed Quasi Helio Sonic for the Plexus trio in Melbourne.
The new work was for clarinet, violin, piano and pre-recorded audio, and was inspired by audio filters of our sun’s resonance created by scientists at the University of Birmingham, England using helio-seismology. These filters are remixed and accompany sections of the new piece, spring-boarding the dramatic energetic and lyrical forays of the composition. This work delivers myriad musical ideas and nuances transformed by the composer’s use of concepts of musical change.
Michael’s works have been performed Australia, China, Japan, the U.S., Canada, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Michael is an active composer dedicated to unfolding an original repertoire for the guitar both solo and in ensemble. He is also deeply involved in creating new choral sounds as in his large work Cantillations for choir and chamber strings, percussion and piano. In past years Michael has specialized in composing music for cello and has also written many works for choir, jazz ensemble, chamber music and orchestral works. His Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra – The New Earth unites his diverse guitar and musical experiences into a major concert work. It consists of 3 movements and a cadenza that is accompanied by a pre-recorded soundscape of a stratocaster guitar feeding back whilst on fire, reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix’s burning of a guitar at Monterey. The third movement received the Allan Zavod Classical-Jazz Fusion Composition Award in 2011 (Melbourne University)
Michael is currently working on a new symphonic work for the Queensland Youth Orchestra.
To listen to excerpts from some of Michael’s orchestral works here, click the player below:
For any queries regarding performance scores, parts and composer workshops, visit the Contact page.