King's College chapel by G. Scott
© Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0
The premiere of
February 2018. Andrew Ford's song cycle, The Drowners, receives its first performance on Saturday 10 March in the beautiful surroundings of Gilbert Scott's Gothic-revival chapel at King's College in the Strand. Scored for baritone, strings, percussion, harmonium, celesta and harp, the songs draw on words by Tim Winton, George Barker, Bruce Dawe, Stevie Smith (her famous poem, 'Not Waving but Drowning') and Shakespeare. But the heart of the piece is a letter by the 19th-century West Australian botanist, Georgiana Molloy, about the drowning of her infant son.
The baritone Morgan Pearse, for whom it was written, will sing The Drowners with the chamber orchestra Ruthless Jabiru, conducted by Kelly Lovelady.
> Buy tickets for the 10 March event (Eventbrite)
> Read a program note and song texts
A pick from Spotify: 'Learning to Howl'
> The music for Learning to Howl (2001) is available from the Australian Music Centre as printed score and digital sheet music. See also 'Birthday of My Life' for soprano and harp; 'A Walk to the Japanese Garden' for high voice and vibraphone and Three Songs for the Lady Pan for soprano and soprano saxophone.
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 (ABC 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.