WELCOME

This is the artist website for Australian/British composer David Holyoake. Here you will find an introduction to his concert music, as well as genre music for theatre, film and contemporary dance.

REVIEWS


CONTACTS

Currently accepting work and commissions.

Email: david.holyoake@gmail.com

Some scores and parts available for sale or hire from the Australian Music Centre:

www.australianmusiccentre.com.au

PHOTOS BY: Dan Oara

http://www.oaraphotography.com/

BIOGRAPHY

BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION

David is an Australian/British composer. He holds a bachelor of Creative Arts and a Bachelor of Laws with honours from the University of Melbourne. David began composing while studying at University. In 2006 he was selected as an Associate Composer of the Australian Music Centre. Since that time he has developed a focus on concert music, but continues to take commissions to write for theatre, contemporary dance, and film in a variety of genres. In Australia he has worked with leading contemporary classical musicians including Silo String quartet, and collaborated with artists from other disciplines including Gerard Van Dyke of Kage physical theatre. So far, the concert music he has produced is predominantly chamber music, which has been performed at such venues as the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Brisbane Convention Centre. He has explored and studied other art forms and has also acted as author and creative director for theatre in both Melbourne and London. When not pursuing artistic work, David also works part time as law and policy advisor on climate change with European environmental law activists ClientEarth.



AWARDS, GRANTS AND AFFILIATIONS

In 2006 David won second prize for piano composition at the Keys Australian Music Competition, and well as the encouragement award for advanced composition. In 2008 he received an arts development grant from Arts Victoria to create and record new chamber works (Transfigurations). In 2012, he was commissioned by Nyctolopic dance-theatre company to create and record an original soundtrack for The City Will Crumble, with grant support from the UK Arts Council and the Norwegian Embassy. This was a new physical theatre work inspired by the philosophy and aesthetic of film noir. Through his representation with the Australian Music Centre, a number of his works have been included in the music syllabus for New South Wales. David is a member of the Melbourne Composers League and has had works performed at a number of their concerts.



INFLUENCES AND THOUGHTS ON MUSIC

I´m especially interested in music as deep language, in exploring the synesthetic properties of music, and in future to find ways to revive music as ritual. While I work quite a bit in the "art music" genre, in general I am anti-intellectualism in art, - the irrational is a much more potent source of creativity, and is the deepest and quickest route to touching or transforming people I think. Regarding the irrational and the ability of music to summon all of its manifestations, I still would rate Frederico Garcia Lorca´s "theory and play of the duende" essay as an amazing creative bible. For me it contains a continual and non-exhaustible source of inspiration. "Duende" is commonly used in connection with flamenco and is difficult to translate – most literally meaning "demon" or "goblin" in old Spanish but more appropriately meaning the personal magic of an artist of performer, and has some spiritual connotations.

Key influences and admiration include the sound worlds of Kaija Saariaho, George Crumb, Toru Takemitsu, Arvo Part for lofty power and wisdom, Ravel for colour, Rachmaninoff for irrepressible dark. I have much yet to discover and study. Since studying flamenco guitar (in addition to my classical training as a pianist, I think my writing seems to have become more propulsive, and rhythmically interesting. While not that much of it can be heard in my music, flamenco (being a fusion of western, north African and Indian harmonic systems) started me on a continuing path of fascination for non-western music. Currently absorbing Ladino song and arab-Andalucian music.Also influenced by the music of North Africa, the near east and Indian classical forms. When writing for theatre, dance or film the influences ofcourse depend on the genre, and what is going on in the world, or my world, at the time, as well as the vocabularies of the artists, choreographers or writers I´m lucky enough to be working with at the time.

LINKS:

David´s webpage at the Australian Music Centre

EXTINCT BIRDS, THE FORGE CAMDEN- 02|23|2014
THE CITY WILL CRUMBLE, LONDON - 02|23|2013
MELBOURNE COMPOSERS LEAGUE - 11|21|2012
HARP CONCERT IN LONDON - 11|13|2012

EXTINCT BIRDS

The Forge Camden

23rd February 2014

Extinct Birds is a new commission from ENSEMBLE MATISSE and composed by David Holyoake. Featuring sound recordings of extinct or endangered song birds, this new chamber work and performance project carries a strong environmental message. The sound recordings of song birds will form a digital soundscape and live digital sound that will interact with the acoustic music. By juxtaposing the human musical language against the musical language of species whose disappearance we have directly caused, Extinct Birds reinforces awareness that humans are simply another species, and that in the absence of deep cultural and economic change, human extinction (or the death of much that is human') is a distinct possibility. The preview will be on the 29th October, but Extinct Birds will then be taken on tour in the UK and hopefully beyond. In addition to 'Extinct Birds', Ensemble Matisse will also be playing a selection of 20th century repertoire. Now Hear This, sound art exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.

VISIT THE WEBSITE



THE CITY WILL CRUMBLE, RICH MIX

David Holyoake

23th February 2013

"The City will Crumble" is a vision of the psychological and social dislocation of the mega-city in 2013. This contemporary physical theatre work, set to original music, reincarnates a previous aesthetic reaction to a great socio-economic shock; film noir as a reflection of the Great Depression and its aftermath. We live in times with strong parallels to that earlier era – most obviously a devastating economic crash. Also, then and now breathtaking technological changes offer great opportunities but at the same time wears down honest human relations. Then an now, seeming prosperity masks continuing power relations and the sharpening vulnerability of those at the bottom. Then and now, faith in progress gives way to powerlessness and isolation in the face of a social system whose efficiency depends on making each individual replaceable, insignificant and therefore disposable.

The show adapts in original movement and music the aesthetic, psychological and narrative elements of film noir – sometimes described as "the aesthetics of anxiety" to tell the story of our own dark city in 2013. The storyline and the symbols it contains are inspired by some of the conventions of noir, and the philosophy inherent to it. The slipping, vanishing and corruption of one´s self against social forces – embodied by the city itself – is what film noir expressed and what Nyctolopic aims to express in this new piece.

PHOTOS FROM PREVIOUS CONCERT.

Reviews:

"a harrowing and interesting soundtrack by David Holyoake..."

"The city will crumble can open your senses if you want something different, thoughtful, and musically arresting"


MELBOURNE COMPOSERS LEAGUE CONCERT

by David Holyoake &
Melbourne Composers League Concert (Indigo)

21th November 2012

This concert of contemporary string quintet music opened with the premiere of ‘Sambhala’ for 2 cellos by David Holyoake.


HARP CONCERT IN LONDON

Keziah Thomas

13th November 2012

Concert harpist Keziah Thomas will be performing David Holyoake’s Storms for solo harp at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon London. 1pm Tuesday 13th November 2012.

More on Keziah Thomas:

http://www.keziah.co.uk/


Posters

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