“It’s in four movements, and it was unusual. I wrote it this year [before coming here] so I had to imagine the sense of place before I actually saw the place.”

Sitting outside Araluen Theatre in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Elena Kats-Chernin is discussing the creative process she undertook in composing Red Centre Suite, written for the Alice Springs World Chamber Orchestra (ASWCO).

“I made it more human, kind of emotional, rather than about landscape, because landscape is not what I write about, it’s not my area of expertise. I respond much better to human emotion and feelings and sense of something unexpected or unknown… I like the mystery of not knowing,” she says.

Elena Kats-Chernin

Elena Kats-Chernin. Photo © Vicki Lauren

Red Centre Suite will have its world premiere on Friday 13 May in a concert called Elena in Red, which will feature another world premiere –Bullen Road 2016 by Jon Rose and Hollis Taylor, a contemporary classical piece involving bird song.

Markus Kuchenbuch, Artistic Director and Orchestral Leader of the ASWCO, first met Kats-Chernin in 2019 at the Bermagui Four Winds Festival. Kuchenbuch spoke to the much-loved composer about coming to Alice Springs, working...