Contemporary Music

Contemporary Music

Music studios and performance spaces imbued with passion and magic. Where lifelong friendships and collaborations are forged in the fire of jamming, creativity and expression.

When the rhythm is inside you, the world is a song, a beat, a chord. Hang out with others who speak the same language. The world of the contemporary musician is diverse. Experiment with your instrument of choice: voice, guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, saxophone, laptop or the mixing desk. All the while guided by lecturers who are successful musicians with strong industry connections.

Contemporary Music Student Gallery

singer on stage with guitar - Georgia Grae
Georgia on stage in the Studio One29 performance space on Lismore campus.

Georgia Grae

Singer and guitarist

Born in the small town of Copmanhurst in the Northern Rivers of NSW, Georgia is a talented 21-year-old singer and guitarist in her second year at Southern Cross University Lismore, studying a Bachelor of Contemporary Music. Unfortunately, she was a victim of having all her first gigs cancelled thanks to COVID but she didn’t let that stop her. A five-track EP is on the way which Garrett Kato – the vocal engineer behind Tones And I’s Dance Monkey – helped produce.

“I emailed him [Garrett Kato] years ago and didn’t hear back, and then later at Southern Cross University, I recorded some demos to make sure I had something to show. Once I sent an email with a demo, I got an email back from his manager that same week! The next month I was in the studio with him, it was very surreal!”

You can tell Georgia knows her stuff; when we asked what her favourite cover song is to perform, she steered away from the usual Tracy Chapman. Georgia’s favourite is Into The Wild by Lucy Rose because it works beautifully with vocals and guitar.

Credit: Lucy Alcorn

Nocturnal Tapes

‘Pattern’ music video

Electronic and psychedelic rock duo

Nocturnal Tapes represents that feeling of space travel, somewhere between zero gravity and before leaving the atmosphere. ‘Pattern’ earned worldwide rave reviews from the likes of Indie Shuffle, Pilerats, triple j, Rolling Stone, MTV, Rage and Spotify via their NMF and Weekend Buzz playlists. The duo from Yamba on the NSW mid north coast features Southern Cross contemporary music graduate Harry Suttor on guitar and vocals and Lachie Mulligan, SAE sound production graduate, on electronics.

Nocturnal Tapes won the national university band competition back in 2015.

“We were jamming around with friends, making up songs as we went,” said Harry, reflecting on the band’s genesis.

“Then one day, Lachie and I were chatting and decided we were keen to jam together and experiment with an amalgamation of our two musical worlds. A month later we were in the studio and wrote our first track.”

Dominic Kingsford

‘With intention’ solo electric bass composition

Electric bass

A creative response to the memory of war and the ANZAC legacy led then-university student Dominic Kingsford to develop a solo electric bass composition called ‘With intention’. He performed the piece to a live audience as part of the ‘Stories of Then and Now: ANZAC Project Winners’ session at the 2018 Byron Writers Festival.

“I learned so much from the music degree at Southern Cross. The facilities and opportunities provided as part of the Bachelor of Contemporary Music are world-class, and I felt a strong sense of support from the lecturers and my peers. My passion for music and performance is ever-growing and I am extremely excited for what my future holds.” 

Dominic is currently writing a national music curriculum aimed at primary and high school students for leading music education company Musicorp Australia. 

He continues to perform and teach and is pursuing a PhD in Music Composition and Education at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. He will be leading a presentation on music education and composition at Litfest 2020, a prominent education and writing festival held in Port Macquarie.

Watch Dominic discuss how he crafted his ANZAC tribute