Blue Silence is the first ever recording of the complete works for string quartet by Elena Kats-Chernin. Elena Kats-Chernin is possibly Australia's most popular composer. In a recent public poll of music from the past 100 years conducted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, her Eliza Aria was one of the highest-ranking Australian compositions. Eliza Aria is included on this new release. In the UK, it is particularly well-known as the theme music for Lloyds TSB's television campaign For The Journey that began in 2007 and continues today. As you can hear on this album, Elena's tuneful music combines lightheartedness with melancholy, blended with elements of cabaret, tango, ragtime, klezmer and Bach.
Acacia Quartet met Elena at a concert in 2011 and a great rapport was struck up. Acacia decided to learn all of Elena's quartet music (so far about 90 minutes, and counting), rehearse it extensively with her and perform it in concerts, then recording it under her supervision. Blue Silence was nominated for an APRA-AMCOS Art Music Award in 2013.
North + South
Nominated for Best Classical Album at the 2013 ARIA Awards, Jane Sheldon’s North + South features ten arrangements of folk songs from Australia, the US, and the British Isles.
"As light as air, as light as sunlight and a little oasis of purity in a dim-lit, noise-clogged world. A pure delight" - John Hardaker, MegaphoneOz
An Aids Activist's memoir in music
"In the years 1991-1996 I was an AIDS activist. Those years were the height of the epidemic, but also the journey to the crisis' end. I saw AIDS transformed from a frightening, near-universally fatal illness to what it is today, a chronic manageable condition. This transformation took place within a mere two decades of identifying HIV. In the history of medicine, there had never been progress made at such speed with a disease that was, frankly, so paralyzingly dazzling in its complexity. During those years, I'd given up music to be an activist. But a composer is always a composer. I did sketch a lot of music. The music were my diaries, a way of writing down feelings. As a composer I think of music as the sound that feelings make. Some twenty years after these events, I started turning the sketches into performable pieces of music, a process I imagine is the same as when someone turns diary entries into a memoir. Strictly speaking, the work is not what's called program music, or music that depicts events or a narrative. Every now and there, there is some overt representation (the police whistles, for instance) but mostly it is music that I wrote when I was reflecting on the day's events or even music to comfort myself. The best way to describe the music is to say it's what got written at the time all these things were happening.” – Lyle Chan
Between Worlds is Nick Russoniello's highly anticipated debut album featuring the acclaimed Acacia Quartet and sponsored by Fine Music 102.5. Sit back and enjoy works by Chick Corea, Elena Kats Chernin, Jeremy Rose and Nick Russoniello within the unique soundscape of the saxophone with strings. Russoniello sings, slaps, scoops and slides in this virtuosic exploration of music from ragtime to rock and everything between.
dancing with somebody
Joe Twist's Dancing with Somebody is a musical celebration of the life, music and persona of diva sensation Whitney Houston, one of my favourite pop artists. Embedded subtly within the work’s thematic language are fragments of her hit tunes The Greatest Love of All and I Wanna Dance With Somebody. This string quartet explores Whitney’s rise to stardom and glamour, her superstar talent and prowess, as well as her gradual decline from grace, her struggle with drugs and her eventual, tragic death. The overriding musical character of Dancing with Somebody is ironically jovial and buoyant. Despite this, the work juxtaposes light-hearted music with moments of eerie grotesqueness, culminating in an intense ‘dance macabre’ with allusions to heavy metal and dub-step. These musical juxtapositions might be considered as a reflection of society’s flippant, hedonistic obsession with tabloid scandal and rumour, overshadowing the celebrity’s raw talent, potential and humanity. Ultimately, Dancing with Somebody expresses my admiration of Whitney’s unforgettable voice, her enchanting persona, and the lasting impact of her legacy on millions of people around the world.
i was flying
Dual ARIA-Award-winning pianist and composer Sally Whitwell returns with the first-ever album of her own compositions: I Was Flying.
The album combines works for solo piano with music for choir and for solo soprano, as well as a range of instrumental chamber music. Sally is joined by a number of her musical friends: rising-star soprano Alexandra Oomens, VOX, Acacia Quartet, flautist Sally Walker and violinist Kirstin Williams.
The album was recorded by ABC Classics at Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Ultimo, with Tonmeister Virginia Read (winner of the 2013 ARIA Award for Best Engineer).
Please check Acacia’s video section for a live video of ‘Winter Love’ by Sally Whitwell and Acacia Quartet.
Recorder virtuoso Alicia Crossley and Acacia Quartet present “Muse”.
Alicia Crossley and the Acacia Quartet present Australian compositions for recorder and string quartet inspired by poetry, mythology, historic tunes and storybook characters.
Featuring works by Lyle Chan, Anne Boyd, Chris Williams, Stephen Yates, Jessica Wells and Sally Whitwell.
Purchase your CD here.
This is your unique opportunity to own a copy of the dynamic virtuosity of the combined forces of Acacia Quartet and Matt Withers in this dazzling collaboration.
Imaginations: Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet will bring you a collection of the most exciting Australian works for the fusion of classical guitar and string quartet on a double album.
Featuring the winning works of the 2018 Matt Withers Australian Music Composition Competition (Wade Gregory, Rick Alexander & Nava Ryan) plus works Richard Charlton, Robert Davidson and the late Phillip Houghton: three of Australia’s most respected composers whose music will surely inspire, move and entertain.
The ‘Imaginations’ double album will also include premiere recordings of Robert Davidson’s solo guitar work Forest, Gordon Kerry’s String Quartet No. 5, Moya Henderson’s Kudikynah Cave and a recording of Nick Wales’ Harbour Light.
The album combines the visual stimulus of art with the soundscape of the very best of new Australian music.
Be transported by the colours and textures of the aural and optical delight featured on the two albums as the music conjures imagery depicting landscapes and seascapes, from trees to oceans.
Audio sample from the CD: