I’ve always been interested in music but was a relatively late starter when it came to learning an instrument. I didn’t begin formal lessons until I was 15. I learnt classical guitar with various private teachers then began studying that instrument seriously a little later at the Sydney School of Guitar. At the same time I also began studying composition with Anne Car-Boyd and Moya Henderson and enrolled in the composition course at Wollongong University. Many years later I learned the flamenco guitar and played professionally with a dance troupe for a couple of years. In recent years I have concentrated my musical activity on writing music, mostly small ensemble works, such as string quintets, though I am working on a couple of large scale orchestral pieces.
Below are two samples from two albums. The first is a snippet from the fourth movement of Requiem for a Beast, which is the CD accompanying the book of the same name, and published by Hachette Livre/Lothian. The whole work is scored for chamber orchestra, two singers, and a narrator.
The second is an excerpt from King Hit, which is the title track from the album King Hit, an Interactive Publications production, released in September 2007. This CD is a collection of poems by Stephen Oliver, set to music by me. Most of the tracks are poems recited by Stephen, with a couple of tracks sung by soprano Hester Hannah. The musical accompaniment for the album covers a wide range of genres and styles from classical to rock to blues/jazz.
Name: Exerpt from Pie Jesu
Artist: Hester Hannah soprano, Elandra Ensemble
Album: Requiem for a Beast
Name: A Simple Tale
Artist: Stephen Oliver voice, Matt Ottley oud
Album: King Hit
Multi Modal Compositions
Here is an example of the way I set music to the words and images from some of my picture books. To see more examples visit the ‘Sound of Picture Books’ page.