Beneath the Incense Tree CD publishes recording of ‘In Advent Heat’

A new recording of my lyrics for ‘In Advent Heat’ by the Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne, is published by Acis Records on Beneath the Incense Tree: Music for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, including works by living composers including many commissions for the choir.

‘In Advent Heat’ is a shimmering setting by Melbourne-based composer and musicologist Peter Campbell, for a work that can be sung through the whole Christmas season from Advent to Epiphany.

The words have become regular additions to Carol services in Melbourne as a poem, as well.

The words describe the journey of the Wise Men through an Australian desert (so different from the Middle Eastern landscapes they would have encountered. or the freezing cold so familiar from northern hemisphere carols).

Listen to the carol here:

‘Bethlehem without a sound’ premièred at Christ Church South Yarra

A new carol-motet, commissioned by the Christ Church Music Foundation, with music by Melbourne-based composer Daniel Riley was first performed at Christ Church, South Yarra, on 16 December 2018 as part of their Carol Service.

The commissions was for a carol which spoke to the Australian setting, and I have therefore included references to lyrebirds and the gold rush, a loose translation from Dante’s Purgatorio in which he imagines the southern hemisphere ocean, and allusions to terra nullius and climate change. Nonetheless, Riley’s bejewelled setting and dynamic rhythms deliver the work as a glittering modern addition to the repertoire.

The newly written words for the commission can also be sung to Mathias’ setting of ‘A babe is born’ for congregational use.

Award for innovation

Here is the citation for the Student Success Staff Award for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation, which I was presented in December 2018.

Since joining the team, Katherine has demonstrated an innovative and inclusive approach to everything she has done. With very short time-frames Katherine negotiated spaces for each Learning Hub and for the Maths Hub at Bundoora while drawing together separate teams into one cohesive unit.

Katherine also successfully streamlined the processes of the team and is currently working on evaluation. One example of Katherine’s innovation involved identifying and negotiating an alternate space for the Hub due to the original’s unsuitability. Katherine was able to work with stakeholders to shift and set up operations within the space of a week.

It was an incredible honour to have the work in the Learning Hub recognised, alongside award for the Peer Learning Leaders for ‘Going the Extra Mile’ and Dr Pam Delly, Student Learning, for ‘Collaboration’.

‘Southern Cantata’ at the Brisbane Contemporary Church Music Festival 2018

Southern Ocean concert

The Brisbane Baroque Chamber Choir, conducted by Graeme Morton, will perform the Shultz/Firth Southern Cantata at the Brisbane Contemporary Church Music Festival, at 2pm on 19 August 2018, in St John’s Cathedral.

“Baroque instruments meet contemporary voices in new Advent cantatas by Australian composers Andrew Schultz and Dan Walker”.

Tickets will be available soon.

‘Anthem for the Feast of Any Healer’ released on ABC Music

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ABC Music has released a recording of ‘Anthem for the Feast of Any Healer’, composed by Michael Leighton Jones, and words by Katherine Firth.

The work was commissioned by Dr Jack Best, to commemorate the life of Norman Heatley, the only member of the team who isolated penicillin for medicinal use not honoured with a Nobel Prize. Dr Best saw in Heatley an exemplar of all medical researchers whose work has made such a difference to many lives, but who are themselves un-celebrated. The name, ‘Anthem for the Feast of Any Healer’ highlights this aspect of the Commission.

The work was first performed by the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, February 2011, and later by the Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne, on multiple occasions, including the opening of the Melbourne Brain Centre (see a video of the event here).

The new recording, with spoken word performance by the librettist, conducted by the composer, and sung by the Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne, is now available for download via the ABC Music website.

Article on Ezra Pound and Musical Modernism published

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An article on how Ezra Pound uses ideas and practices of musical modernism to shape his Pisan Cantos. In particular, the chapter debunks the idea that a ‘fugue’ controls the formal aspects of the poem, demonstrating rather the freedom and looseness of the fugue form, and instead demonstrating Pound’s use of small musical moments of coherence through close examination of primary recordings of Pound reciting his poetry, through examination of letters and commentary, and through a deep understanding of early and modern musicology.

The book can be purchased from Routledge, or consulted (in part) on Google Books.

Movement from ‘Southern Cantata’ on 3MBS Radio

Movement 4 of ‘Southern Cantata’ was broadcast on 3MBS radio on Sunday 4 February 5pm, as part of an interview with The Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, Dean of Melbourne, for their ‘Reflections’ Program.

You can listen to the piece here:

Schultz, Andrew: Southern Cantata. Choir of St John’s Southgate/Graham Lieschke (From 36 minutes).

A broadcast of the full work is expected soon.

The score and a recording are available for reference only at the the Australian Music Centre website.

Post published on LSE Impact blog

My blog post ‘Writing a PhD in your second language: 7 reasons you’re doing great and 5 ways to do even better’ (originally published on Research Degree Voodoo), was republished on the LSE Impact blog.

For those PhD students for whom English is not their first language, writing a thesis can be a daunting task and a source of some anxiety too. Katherine Firth has worked with many of these students and as well as offering reasons why they should feel reassured, also provides a short list of simple pointers to help improve their skills. Identify your common errors, practice regularly, and don’t become preoccupied with “sounding academic”!

Read the full blog.

 

Centenary Anthem for Trinity College Chapel

A new anthem was commissioned for the century anniversary of the Horsfall Chapel at Trinity College, the University of Melbourne, ‘Sunlight Touches the Roses (Horsfall)’ with words by Katherine Firth and music by Peter Campbell. The anthem was directed by Chris Watson and sung by the Choir of Trinity College, one of the premiere sacred music ensembles in Australia.

The first performance was on Friday 6 October 2017 at a service for Founders and Benefactors of the College, and a second performance on Saturday 25 November for the anniversary of the consecration of the chapel.

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The words and music draw from the present setting of the building, its history as the chapel of Trinity College and Janet Clarke Hall (in 1917 Trinity College and Trinity Women’s Hostel), from the prayers and hymns in the opening services of the new chapel, and ends with a doxology of hope for the future.

Read more about the chapel and the chapel choir.