I'm looking forward to getting started on a fun new piece for children, The Mad Hatter's Tea Party, to be performed at the Canberra International Music Festival in May 2018, alongside Peter and the Wolf.
Peter and the Wolf
The enduring charm of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf justifies its place in any festival. Young ears will also prick up for Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party realised by five musicians representing Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Dormouse, the March Hare and … Time!
Holly Harrison (b. 1988): The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (WP)
Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805): Minuet from String Quintet in E major, op. 11, no. 5
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953): Peter and the Wolf, op. 67
Sunday, May 6, 2018, 11:00 AM 12:00 PM
Fitters' Workshop 11 Wentworth Avenue Kingston, ACT, 2604 Australia
The following excerpt from a review of the Five Elements premiere features some kind words about my fire piece 'Flash Point'. Thanks, John!
Enigma Quartet and Riley Lee: A Dialogue Between East and West
Independent Theatre North Sydney on Sunday November 26.
Reviewed by John Pollak
'The Australian composers particularly Ross Edwards (Voice of the Rain), Holly Harrison (Flash Point), Lachlan Skipworth (Light Rain) did an outstanding job to make interplay meaningful and profound and in some cases (Ann Boyd) giving it an Australian context and a rich Australian idiom. Holly Harrison’s piece, I thought was outstanding. It took me back to ancient Japan to a time simple yet complex , when nature was solace yet also harsh and unyielding.'
You can read the full article here
The concert features the premiere of a new work by the 2017 Merlyn Myer Music Commission winner, Andrea Keller. The program includes works written especuially for Ensemble Offspring by female Australian composers:
Bree van Reyk
Light for the First Time
My latest work Flash Point received its premiere over the weekend by shakuhachi master Riley Lee and Enigma Quartet. The piece was commissioned as part of the ‘5 Elements’ project, which is based on the belief in many ancient cultures that the universe was made of five fundamental elements: Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Ether.
Riley and Enigma performed eight new works for shakuhachi and string quartet by Ross Edwards, Anne Boyd, Gerard Brophy, Stuart Greenbaum, Katy Abbott, David Hirschfelder, Andrew Howes, and myself, alongside existing works by Lachlan Skipworth and Elena Kats-Chernin. Each composer drew inspiration from one of the five elements - mine is based on fire, hence the title!
Stay tuned for a studio recording next year!
(I also thoroughly enjoyed a slice of delicious lemon meringue pie as part of North Sydney’s Independent Theatre Prelude in Tea series. Highly recommend!)
The Making Waves team collaborate with Classic FM's New Waves (so many waves!) on a series of four podcasts:
'In this program, Peggy, Lisa and interviewer-collaborators Leah Blankendaal, David John Lang, and Antonia Zappia explore questions of voice and style in the context of contemporary Australia.
The four featured composers are guitarist, researcher and educator Michael Sollis, electronic artist and queer activist Dan Thorpe, South-Indian-inspired jazz singer-performer Lisa Young, and experimental rock drummer and Lewis Carroll obsessive Holly Harrison.'
You can now hear the podcast from Ensemble Offspring's Kontiki Racket Festival in November last year. The podcast features the world premiere of my piece Vibe Rant, as well as premieres of Lachlan Skipworth's Intercurrent, Alex Pozniak's Extract, and Juan Felipe Waller's Detone Retune.
Vibe Rant has another outing; this time at Ensemble Offspring's 'Sizzle', Petersham Bowling Club, April 23:
In Ensemble Offspring's words:
'Sizzle is contemporary classical music at the local bowlo. Now in it’s seventh year, Sizzle has become a fixture in the Inner West arts calendar.
With the usual mix of art-meets-popular culture-meets-family fun, this year promises an all female composer line-up; special guest artists and jazz super-collective, Sirens Big Band; an interactive music installation for contrabass clarinet and ping pong balls by Melbourne-based Aviva Endean; and an eco-friendly instrument-building workshop with a twist for all ages by Liz Jigalin. Add a dash of chaos for good measure! It’s free and family-friendly as usual.'
PART 3 – ENSEMBLE OFFSPRING & VERONIQUE SERRET (6 String Electric Violin)
Holly Harrison – Vibe Rant 6′ (flute/piccolo, bass clarinet, vibraphone)
Pauline Oliveros – Wind Horse 5’ (percussion, clarinet, flute)
Bree van Reyk – Light for the first time WP 9′ (keyboard, flute, clarinet, vibraphone, violin)
Ivana Radovanovic – October Morning 7’ (electric violin solo)
Sarah Kirkland-Snider – Pale as Centuries 6’ (keyboard, flute, vibraphone, double bass, clarinet)
Ensemble Offspring will play two of my pieces, Frogstomp and Vibe Rant, as part of their 'Birdsong at Dawn' concert at Western Sydney University's Playhouse Theatre, March 30. The concert features works by female composers with a connection to WSU, and a theme of birdsong and croaks and creaks of native Australian fauna. Come along to see my squeaky frog toy back in action! Click here for more details.
I've had a blast on tour with the delightful Eighth Blackbird. Many thanks to Musica Viva, the Hildegard Project, and Geoff Stearn for making it possible! From Perth beaches, Newcastle camels, Melbourne negronis, Brisbane Koalas, to hometown Sydney (+ rain). I'm a little sad I couldn't make it to Canberra or Adelaide!
Here are some words about Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup:
‘exploded off the page with a quirky energy that had the audience in raptures’
Rosalind Appleby, Writer, 21/2/2017
‘Swarms with detail, hot jazzy moments of furious fiddling, some astonishing virtuosic percussion, a cellist at the top of his game and calm, mellow tones from the flute as well as peeping piccolo, gave us a fascinating potpourri of sounds’
Neville Cohn, The West Australian, 24/2/2017
‘a work of riotous energy, eclectic rhythmic complexity and inventive instrumentation drawing on instrumental extremes of range and tone with good humour and vitality’
Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald, 27/2/2017
‘Harrison’s work opens with a jazzy cacophony….The mood changes on a dime, with a sighing duet from violin and piano giving way to vigorous bass clarinet grooves and percussive flute rhythms accompanied by blue grassy pizzicato cello’
Angus McPherson, Limelight Magazine, 28/2/2017
‘Irrepressible, this was a piece of contemporary art music for god’s sake – that had a concert hall smiling throughout. Go and listen to Holly’s music! Better yet, commission her! She’s a great composer and can do public speaking well. She is a programmer’s dream! Do it, do it now!’
Ian Whitney, Composer, 3/3/2017
‘Dazzling riffs and solos are punctuated by fragments of text interjected by the musicians. The piece is driven by a powerful groove that has it’s apotheosis in an unlikely and spectacular bass clarinet and flute duo .’
Matthew Lorenzon, Partial Durations, 19/3/2017
I had the pleasure of chatting with Radio Adelaide's Grahame Dudley about Musica Viva's Eighth Blackbird tour, my new work Lobster Tales, and all things Lewis Carroll a few days ago. You can listen again [here] under 'Classical Connection'.