The Australian Music Centre has announced the two composers chosen as recipients of the 2024 MOMENTUM Commissions.

Aaron Wyatt and Christine Pan will write a new work for the commission, valued at $4,000, which will also receive a premiere performance in Melbourne later in the year.

Christine Pan. Photo © Ester Maria

Based in New South Wales, Christine Pan will write a work for solo bass clarinet that investigates the impact of noise pollution on birdlife. It also explores the interdisciplinary field of bioacoustics, or the way that animals produce and perceive sound.

Pan was one of four composers recently selected for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s (MSO) 2024 Cybec program. Her body of work spans game, film, theatre, electroacoustic and classical contemporary art music; her works have been performed  by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the Goldner Quartet, Orchestra Victoria and Ensemble Offspring, amongst others.

“I’m grateful for this chance to explore bioacoustics’ intersection with technology and environmental awareness through the bass clarinet’s expressive colour palette,” said Pan.

“Drawing inspiration from current research data, I am excited to see how science can meet music through the virtuosic potential of a solo instrument.”

Aaron Wyatt

Aaron Wyatt. Photo © Jessica Bader

Victorian-based violist, composer and conductor Aaron Wyatt will write a new work for chamber trio. The work will engage with ideas of reconciliation and Indigenous identity following the defeat of the Voice to Parliament referendum, and examine what it means to be Australian today with regards to Australia’s colonial past.

Wyatt made history as the first Indigenous conductor to lead one of Australia’s state orchestras when he took the helm of the MSO in 2022. He also developed the Decibel ScorePlayer, an iPad application that works with graphic scores. Once a long-term casual violist with WASO, his new work The Coming Dawn opened the orchestra’s 2024 season.

“It’s a great honour to be chosen for this commission, and I look forward to being able to contribute to the rich and vibrant landscape of art music that we have in this country,” said Wyatt.

“It’s invaluable to have organisations like the Australian Music Centre championing this part of our cultural heritage.”

The MOMENTUM Commissions were first awarded in 2020. Past recipients include Anne Cadres, Nicole Murphy, Rae Howell, Connor D’Netto and Elizabeth Younan. The 2023 MOMENTUM Commission recipients were Reuben Lewis and Helen Svoboda.

More about the MOMENTUM Commissions can be found here.

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