Noisy Women and Hatched

We are delighted to announce our participants for Noisy Women and Hatched 2021. The successful applicants are: Nirmali Fenn for our Noisy Women composer, and Cayn Borthwick, Gabrielle Cadenhead, Azariah Felton, Andrea Guterres, May Lyon and Ben Robinson.

Our process to select our 2021 Noisy Women Commissioned Composer and 2021 Hatched Composer Summer School participants has come to a close. There were 40 applications over both programs, all of which were of an exceptional calibre – which gives us great hope for the future of music in Australia! Thankyou to everyone who took the time to apply.

Get to know our participants Nirmali, Cayn, Gabrielle, Azariah, Andrea, May and Ben below.

Noisy Women Composer 2021: Nirmali Fenn

About the commissioned work

It is such a privilege to work intimately with Ensemble Offspring. The personalities of each musician will be written into this piece as we start to make music from their very fingertips – literally and figuratively! The message behind the commissioned piece is universal to humanity right now. COVID has struck every society around the world and one of its effects is that touch is missing from our lives. Touch between humans has almost become a nostalgic memory, even a handshake may be forever avoided. As we move forward into recovery, this piece will revive our experience of touch in order to become more sensitive to the precious presence of others. 

About Nirmali Fenn

Nirmali Fenn is a Sri Lankan-born Australian composer. She currently lives in New York, working at Stony Brook University and will also be joining the composition faculty at the Manhattan School of Music. Nirmali’s music often involves a lot of theatre and she has collaborated with some of Asia’s most respected choreographers, such as Pun Siu Fai and Daniel Leung. Her collaboration with the Guangdong Modern Dance Company opened the 9th Guangdong Dance Festival in Guangzhou, China. She is currently collaborating with Czech choreographer Jiri Bartovanec from the Berlin-based Sascha Waltz Dance Co.

Nirmali has served as composer-in-residence at a number of major European festivals, most notably the Lakes District Summer Music Festival in the U.K. and the Saxophone Habanera Festival in Poitiers, France. Of the first performance of her song cycle Over Exposed at Abbaye Royaumont in Paris, Le Monde praised it as “standing out in the genre of ‘songs’ of today” and La Croix described it as “deeply moving”. Her compositions have been performed by the Arditti String Quartet, Ensemble Cairn, Ensemble Linea, the Kuss Quartet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Endymion Ensemble, the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Concorde, the S.E.M Ensemble, Ostravska banda, the Eastman Broadband Ensemble and the Mivos Quartet. A CD of her music has been released by the Austrian label, Kairos.

Hatched Composer Summer School Participants 2021

The selected composers will join Ensemble Offspring musicians and esteemed composer mentor Melody Eötvös for a week of workshops in December 2021, which will culminate in a showcase concert of 6 brand new works.

About Cayn Borthwick

Cayn Borthwick is a Melbourne-based composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and teacher whose practice is concerned with the intersection of music, art, technology and humanity. He straddles a few musical areas and approaches all of them with his unique voice.

“I am so honoured and humbled to be a part of the 2021 Hatched Academy. I’m looking forward to working with Ensemble Offspring and meeting the other composers! Off the record: squeeeee!” 

About Gabrielle Cadenhead

Gabrielle Cadenhead is a Sydney-based writer, composer, flautist and educator who creates inter-disciplinary works combining new music and experimental poetry. She is passionate about music and poetry as vital and continually evolving cultural expressions in both secular and sacred contexts. Her work focuses on cultivating community through creativity, particularly within faith communities, and her poetry and music often wrestle with theology and social justice.

“I am excited to be a part of Hatched Academy Composer Summer School in 2021 and enter into a collaborative workshop space with this incredible new music ensemble to hone my compositional skills as I transition from student to professional composer and find my creative voice.”

About Azariah Felton

Azariah Felton is a Perth-based composer and sound artist specializing in composition for dance, film, and theatre. He studied Composition and Music Technology at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, where he began collaborating with artists from a range of other disciplines.

“This is awesome news, and I’m really excited to work with and learn from the Ensemble Offspring next year!”

About Andrea Guterres

Andrea Guterres is a Sydney-based composer who dedicates her practice to the electroacoustic medium, immersive/spatialised sound installations, and multidisciplinary performance. As well as having an extensive performing history as a classical guitarist, her work has appeared in festivals, venues, concert halls, and galleries throughout Australia, Europe, Asia, and the U.S.

“It’s amazing to be offered the chance to workshop my music directly with some of Australia’s leading pioneers of contemporary music. The opportunity to experiment with new ideas under professional guidance will surely be a learning experience from which I can draw in years to come.”

About May Lyon

May Lyon is a Melbourne-based composer whose stylistically eclectic music explores humanistic themes from astronomy and lore to mathematics. Narrative dualities and rhythmic precision are strong recurring elements in her music. Lyon has been commissioned and performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, National Capital Orchestra, Forest Collective, Ensemble Goldentree, Rubiks Collective and Syzygy Ensemble, and her first opera Pieces of Margery premieres with More Than Opera in 2021.

“I’m extremely grateful to be chosen by Ensemble Offspring to work with them as part of the Hatched Academy 2021. Working closely with musicians and workshopping new material is invaluable for composers. A lot of what we do is alone and through computer software, and while the latter is a useful tool, it is the live and interactive element that we love about our industry.

About Ben Robinson

Ben Robinson is a young composer emerging from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he was recently awarded the Raymond Hanson Memorial Prize for Composition. With a style that is rich in rhythmic excitement, Ben’s works create an engaging musical trajectory from start to finish. Ben has developed his skills under the guidance of composers including Paul Stanhope, Michael Smetanin, and Ben Carey.

“I’m so excited to work with Ensemble Offspring, and I’m especially keen to learn from people who so passionately support living music!