Dare to Declare, my concerto for marimba and orchestra, has been composed for Claire Edwardes and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Comprising three movements, the work takes its inspiration from three important artistic voices from Australian history – poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal, visual artist Clarice Beckett and composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks. The title comes from a poem by UK poet and theologian Nicola Slee, Conversations with Muse – you to me. 

Anne Cawrse with a background of leaves.

Anne Cawrse. Photo © Emma Luker

My music regularly takes its inspiration from extramusical sources such as text and visual art, and seeing the Clarice Beckett exhibition, The Present Moment, at the Art Gallery of South Australia in early 2021 helped me decide the direction the concerto was going to take. Not only are her paintings exquisitely beautiful, but the story of the rediscovery of her art is touching and sobering. How many times have the important and vital contributions made by women – in all fields, not just the artistic – been overlooked or forgotten? I selected these three women not only because I felt a richness in their art that I could draw...