What is Noisy Women Commission?
The Noisy Women Commission is Ensemble Offspring’s annual award for an emerging, female-identifying and non-binary composer. Inaugurated in 2017, our Noisy Women have gone on to produce a broad array of provocative and thrilling new chamber works. The commission provides significant creative freedom to an emerging Australian composer, and an opportunity for the new work to be workshopped with members of Ensemble Offspring and presented and documented in a high-profile concert.
The value of the prize is: $4,000 commission fee, several workshops with Ensemble Offspring and professional documentation of the premiere. The work should be approximately 10 minutes in length and should be for the Ensemble Offspring core line up of flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin and cello, or an agreed subset thereof. Use of electronics and multimedia to be discussed.
The 2022 Noisy Women Commission recipient is Samantha Wolf.
Samantha Wolf (2022)
Described as ‘haunting’, ‘enigmatic’, and ‘inspired’, the music of Australian-born, US-based composer Samantha Wolf inhabits the space between the classical, contemporary, acoustic and electroacoustic worlds, while being grounded in the notated tradition. Her practice encompasses instrumental and vocal compositions, interdisciplinary collaborations, and electroacoustic works that incorporate noise, speech, found sounds, and comedy. Samantha currently studies at the Yale School of Music with Chris Theofanidis. When she isn’t composing or finding found sounds, Samantha can be found carbo-loading with some of New Haven’s famous pizza, or in the WYBC studio broadcasting her satirical wellness show, “Ambient Dreams for Sleep-Deprived Teens”.
Nirmali Fenn (2021)
Eve Klein (2020)
Eve Klein hails from Brisbane. Having made her career previously as an opera singer, her new work Hadrian for the trio of flute, clarinet and percussion integrates donated objects from survivors of floods and bushfires as part of the percussion set up. Hadrian explores themes of climate change with a scrolling score created from weather pattern data at the time of the most recent Brisbane floods. It tells Eve’s personal story of loss of part of her home and her long term musical partner in crime, Hadrian, a grand piano that had to be demolished due to flood damage. Hadrian will be premiered in 2022 as part of Another Future at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre.
Nicole Murphy (2019)
Brisbane composer Nicole Murphy created Click Farm as our 2019 Noisy Women Composer. A sextet for Ensemble Offspring’s core instrumentation of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano, Click Farm explores the bot processes used to observe human activity online, and uses this as inspiration for the musical process. Through a process of observation, variation and mimicry, the musicians perform a feedback loop of ideas that gradually mutate, taking the listener from the familiar waltz-like gestures of the opening into an unfamiliar landscape where only hints of the initial gestures remain. The piece was premiered at the Utzon Room on 28 October 2021 as part of Shivers on Speed.
Elizabeth Younan (2018)
Elizabeth Younan is a Sydney composer who graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium and recently began a Postgraduate degree at Philadelphia’s prestigious Curtis Institute of Music (read more). For her Noisy Women Commission, Elizabeth composed flute solo for Lamorna Nightingale titled Fantasia for Solo Flute. The work integrates kick bass drum and is part of an ongoing series for the composer where she explores the solo medium for different instruments, now including harp, viola, oboe and violin. The new commission was premiered on 7 November 2019 at Carriageworks as part of Ensemble Offspring’s ongoing Lone Hemispheres series.
Fiona Hill (2017)
Blue Mountains composer Fiona Hill was the very first Noisy Women commission recipient in 2017 with a premiere at the Utzon Room as part of Hark the Machine on 11 February 2018. Her work Pentography is for the full sextet line up of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano, and draws its extra musical inspiration from Traditional Chinese Medicine and the five seasons (in contrast with the Western concept of four seasons), where each season relates to a particular aspect of the mind, body and spirit: Spring: Shouting sound, impatience, anger, dissatisfaction. Summer: Growth, lightness, expansion, laughter, joy. Earth: Time stops, unity, harmony, dreamlike, tranquil. Autumn: Grief, gathering together, stillness, contraction. Winter: Receptive, introspective, stillness, spiritual essence.