Hidden Curiosities is a new Kammerklang series championing existing, under-performed, Australian repertoire drawn from an open call for scores.
In 2021, Hidden Curiosities is a pair of programs drawn entirely from hidden gems of the Australian art song repertoire. From the same open call for scores, each soprano and piano duo has crafted their own unique program in collaboration with Kammerklang.
Amelia Jones & Stefan Cassomenos perform Memento in Melbourne featuring music by Jessica Wells, Philip Eames, Robert McIntyre, Anne Cawrse, Keyna Wilkins, Diana Blom, Caerwen Martin, and Connor D’Netto.
Its partner program, Vestige will be performed in Sydney by Anna Fraser & Jack Symonds, and you can read more here.
Each program, curated by Kammerklang with the performers, showcases not only each duos’ skill, personal aesthetic, musicality but the diversity of art song created in Australia.
MEET THE ARTISTS:
Welsh born Soprano Amelia Jones is a compelling, passionate and nuanced performer known throughout Australia and internationally for her “crystal clear tone”, delivering “pure enchantment” with the help of her “naturally attractive voice” (classikON). Amelia’s innate fascination for interpretation in conjunction with a bold musicality have led her to become a choice vocalist for contemporary Australian composers and international composers, in a live performance and professional recording capacity.
Amelia is the Principal Soprano at Scots’ Church, and is regularly engaged as a solo concert artist, a chamber singer and chorister. Alongside live performance, Amelia has gained praise and recognition internationally for her work as a recording artist for award winning video games and Japanese anime productions. Significant vocal appearances include ‘City of Tears’ from Australian video game Hollow Knight, ‘Falling Through Starlight’ from Japanese anime The Rising of the Shield Hero and several tracks from multi award winning anime Made in Abyss.
Melbourne pianist and composer Stefan Cassomenos is one of Australia’s most vibrant and versatile musicians. As recipient of the Second Prize in the International Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn 2013, Cassomenos has performed throughout Europe and Asia, and has performed concertos with orchestras in Australia and overseas. Cassomenos is a founding member of chamber ensemble PLEXUS, which has commissioned and premiered over 100 works. Cassomenos’ compositions are regularly performed throughout Australia. Cassomenos is joint Artistic Director of Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, with violinist Monica Curro.
MEET THE COMPOSERS:
Diana Blom, composer and keyboard player, has written several works for voice and piano including Southern Songs, Three Poems of Walter de la Mare (soprano); The Dark, the Light (contralto); Portrait of America, The Library (tenor); and Dance Set (bass). She has co-curated several composition/performance/CD projects of new compositions including New art song of the Pacific Rim, and War Letters – new music commemorating WW1. Diana is co-author of Music Composition Toolbox, published by Science Press. Scores and CDs are published through Wirripang Pty. Ltd., Orpheus Music and Wai-te-Ata Press. Diana is Associate Professor of Music at Western Sydney University.
Anne Cawrse is an experienced and versatile orchestral and chamber music composer, having written for the Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmainian Symphony Orchestras, the Australian String Quartet, Plexus Ensemble, Zephyr Quartet, and the Adelaide Wind Orchestra.
Anne is also a highly revered art song and choral composer, and is the most commissioned composer of the award-winning Adelaide Chamber Singers. Her first opera, Innocence, was developed with Singular Productions and the State Opera Company of South Australia. She has twice been a finalist in the APRA AMCOS Australian Music Centre Art Music Awards, winning the State award in 2018.
Connor D’Netto has been described as “the model contemporary Australian composer” by ABC Classic FM. His music balances rhythmic drive, heartfelt lyricism drawn from his background as a vocalist, textures expanding the limits of instrumental sound, and delicate incorporation of electronic elements. Connor has been commissioned internationally, selected as the youngest ever Composer-In-Residence of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, held residencies with Bang On A Can and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and been awarded prizes including the Australian New Works Award. Connor graduated his Master of Music as Tait Trust Scholar at London’s Royal College of Music in 2019.
Sydney-based composer-pianist Philip Eames has a unique compositional voice that combines a polished, virtuosic craft with symbolic layering. With an eclectic professional background including choral direction, musicology and even musical theatre, these diverse influences constantly ross-pollinate to produce delightfully unexpected results. He was announced the winner of the 2020 Willgoss Choral Composition Prize, the Tagore and ASKM Composition Competitions, and his music has been frequently performed throughout Australia by musicians including the Australian Voices, Collusion, and the Flinders Quartet.
Notably in 2019 he collaborated with the Black Square Quartet and the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation to create a large-scale choreographed string quartet based on the stories of Oodgeroo Noonuccal.
Caerwen Martin’s composition career output is extensive, reaching international artists, audiences, and media. Her work has included compositions for orchestra, chamber ensemble, solo artists, choral, film, dance, art installation, and theatre. Caerwen has over 20 years international touring experience performing her with high profile musicians, ensembles, and Australian contemporary composers, and also performing her compositions and improvisations, Tours include USA, Western Europe, Scandinavia, the Balkans, South Africa, Japan, Taipei, New Zealand, and extensively across Australia. Caerwen also works in film and television as a composer, cellist and actor. She has composed for feature film and art house short films, some of which have won international film awards. Caerwen is the artistic director and founding member of Silo String Quartet which she founded in 1998. He compositions for SiloSQ receive regular airplay in Australia and the USA.
Robert McIntyre is an emerging Australian composer & flautist who draws from personal experiences, nature and important causes as potential frameworks, in order to create an atmosphere of discussion and reflection. So far, he has collaborated with Divisi Chamber Singers/Sally Whitwell, VYSO, Syzygy Ensemble, Jasper Ly, Collide Trio, the University of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and more.
Robert has a BH-MUS(Hon) in Music Composition from the University of Melbourne (MCM) and has commenced postgraduate study at the Melbourne Law School (JD). He is also working with Syzygy Ensemble in social media marketing.
More information about his current commissions, ambitions and existing music can be found at his website below.
Jessica Wells is a versatile composer, orchestrator, and arranger for concerts, films, theatre, and album recordings.
Since obtaining her Master of Music in Composition (Sydney Conservatorium) and Master of Arts in Screen Composition (AFTRS), her career has gone from strength to strength. Her business of 16 years, Jigsaw Music, provides music preparation services for clients all over the country and overseas.
Jessica has orchestrated over 70 films, and wrote the theme music for ABC TV’s “Q&A” program – which makes her kids think she’s famous.
She was a 2017 Finalist in the APRA Art Music Awards, in the category of “Instrumental Work of the Year” for her piece “Moon Fire” for the National Carillon and electronic track.
From 2017-2020 she has been the Musical Director of the APRA Screen Music Awards, and she is the current Vice President of the Music Arrangers’ Guild of Australia.
Keyna Wilkins is a pioneering Australian/British composer-musician. She was one of three finalists in the Australian nation-wide APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards for Individual Excellence in 2018.
Described as “Arresting, genre-blurring..Disquieting music with massive breadth and high drama.” by the Sydney Morning Herald, her works are performed internationally and published by Wirripang. Wilkins is anAssociate Artist with the Australian Music Centre and has five tunes in the Australian Jazz Realbook and her work has been recorded and played by the ABC.