Painting of Miranda in The Tempest by John William Waterhouse
on the classics
August 2018. Two forthcoming premieres from Andrew Ford have their origins in the classics. The Sea and the Mirror is a work in two movements (fast and slow) for violinist Tor Frømyhr and cellist David Pereira. Its title is taken from W.H. Auden's poem-cum-commentary about Shakespeare's play The Tempest. This is hardly the first time Ford has been drawn to the play. He has set lines to music on two occasions and borrowed titles four times. This piece is composed as part of his H.C. Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship in the ANU School of Music and was to have had its premiere at ANU on 22 September. Due to illness, this will now take place in 2019.
In the Books of Kings, Jezebel was the Queen of Israel who attempted to replace the worship of Yahweh with that of Baal and Asherah. She is also, popularly, supposed to have worn too much make-up. She was thrown to her death from a high window by Jehu, her body eaten by dogs. The Canadian poet Anne Carson has turned Jezebel's story into a brilliant, ironic four-part poem and it is this that Ford has set to music in a dramatic vocal work for Jane Sheldon with Claire Edwardes playing a variety of metal percussion. No One Could Relax around Jezebel, commissioned by Julian Burnside AO QC, will have its first performance at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival on 13 October.
> No One Could Relax around Jezebel at 2pm on Saturday 13 October, Reardon Theatre, Port Fairy VIC. Info and tickets.
[Updated 4 Sept: premiere for The Sea and the Mirror]
A pick from Spotify: 'After the Visitors'
> After the Visitors (2014) for soprano and string quartet to Judith Wright's poem was commissioned by Katie Noonan for her project with the UK-based Brodsky Quartet. Noonan and the Brodsky Quartet premiered it in Brisbane in April 2016, as part of their national tour.
The Memory of Music -
'a sort of memoir'
July 2017: The Memory of Music, Andrew Ford's 'sort of' memoir is published by Black Inc on 3 July. Although it has the form of a memoir, it is really a book about music and how it can help shape our lives. Andrew Ford writes about the music that has most influenced him and takes us inside the head of a composer. There are book events as follows: July 2 book launch in Robertson (details and bookings); July 5 author talk at Stanton Library, North Sydney (free event, details); July 13 'In Conversation with Richard Tognetti' at the Yellow House, Sydney (details and bookings); July 15 Southern Highland Writers' Festival (festival info); July 26 Riverbend Books, Brisbane (details and bookings); 5-6 August Byron Bay Writers' Festival (festival info).
You can read extracts from the book in the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Music Centre's Resonate magazine.
> The book is available for purchase from 3 July, in shops and online - for example the AMC's online shop and of course the Black Inc. website (also preorder).
> For reviews of The Memory of Music, see the Books subpage.
Album for children
(and their parents & grandparents)
May 2016. Andrew Ford's popular new album for children and their parents, There Was a Man Lived in the Moon is now available in the UK, with other countries to follow. It comprises 29 songs, sung by Jane Sheldon and Teddy Tahu Rhodes, two of Australia's finest classical singers, while the players are usually to be found among the ranks of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. There are also several original songs, including Little Star (a setting of Jane Taylor's 18th-century poem, 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star', and three songs to poems by Edward Lear, collectively known as Nonsense.
> Order the album There Was a Man Lived in the Moon (AMC Shop)
> The music for 20 traditional nursery rhymes and Nonsense can be purchased from the Australian Music Centre.
Three Front Doors and a Paddock radio series
April 2016. In the 4-part radio series Three front doors and a paddock Andrew Ford's talks the artist Ben Quilt about making music and making art: How does it begin? What is its subject matter? Who pays for it? And what about all that great art from the past? Listen now or download.
and radio series
May 2015. Andrew Ford's new book, Earth Dances (Black Inc.), shows how composers through history have made their music less sophisticated. The result has often been renewal.
> For details and e-purchase links, see: Black Inc. Read reviews
> The radio series Earth Dances was broadcast in April on ABC Radio National. The four episodes are now available to download.