Young composers break the mould

JOSTEN Myburgh began playing drums at age nine but it was not until discovering rock bands like Sonic Youth and Pixies when he was 12, and learning theory at 13, that he became fascinated with making his own music.

�At that point I still thought I�d study something mathematics-focused and just play in experimental rock bands, but my listening widened throughout high school to include avant-garde jazz and 20th century classical music, which eventually led me to focusing on auditioning for WAAPA,� Myburgh said.

�It only took me a few months of study at WAAPA to formulate my career aspiration of being a hybrid composer, performer and music educator, and I still have similar aspirations today.�

In his final year studying a Bachelor of Music (Honours), Myburgh is working as a project coordinator for Tura New Music�s Breaking Out � Young Composers Night, which is part of the 12th Totally Huge New Music Festival from May 15 to 24.

He will also present new piece, Doctor for soprano voice, two percussionists and electronics at the performance on Wednesday, May 20 at PICA Performance Space.

All young composers involved were chosen on recommendation from various heads of department at the two music universities in Perth, with the aim of getting an even split between WAAPA and UWA.

Breaking Out is a bit of a tradition for the festival, so there is certainly a heritage for featuring young artists as part of the program,� Myburgh said.

�Adding the voice of young composers to the week provides a refreshing perspective; often the younger generation has things to say that excitingly differ from more mature artists, and in such a uniquely isolated place as Perth, I think the insights offered by these works are fascinating.

�As well as this, for the composer�s benefit it is both good exposure as well as a great side-by-side comparison to be placed alongside �heavy hitters� in a festival program.�

Myburgh said Breaking Out would feature everything from mixed chamber ensembles to progressive rock saxophone orchestras, a surround sound work for guitar and electronics to a trio of vibraphone, cardboard box and soprano voice.

�It�s a night of new music by young artists working in Perth,� he said.

�The style of music could be called �classical,� but not as you�ve ever heard it.�


What: Breaking Out � Young Composers Night

Where: PICA Performance Space

When: May 20