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SCU composer presents piano concert


Brigid Veale
31 October 2005
Southern Cross University academic Michael Hannan will present a concert of his piano music at the Nimbin School of Arts on Sunday, November 13 at 3pm.

Conceived as a retrospective of his long-standing commitment to piano composition, it will begin with a selection from Fortune Pieces, a series of miniatures written for his piano students in the late 1970s.

Other early pieces on the program include Three Meditations for Dane Rudhyar, a work which explores the complexity of piano resonance, and Homage to Chopin, a playful musical pastiche which reveals Hannan's creative roots in classical pianism.

The centrepiece of the concert will be a series of excerpts from Resonances, a large-scale multi-movement work which features music based on the calls of the pied butcherbird. Hannan first heard the calls of the pied butcherbird while he was living in Brisbane in 1985, and it has inspired most of his music since that time.

He found that the pied butcherbird has different but related calls in adjacent geographical locations and conceived the idea of "butcherbird songlines" which map the landscape through song from Byron Bay to Nimbin.

The new works in the program include Mozart Minimalised, a cheeky homage for the 250th year of the Mozart's birth, and Impromobiles, a series of musical, visual and literary ideas that form the starting points for improvised musical performances.

Michael Hannan will introduce each work and provide the audience with insights into his sources of inspiration and his methods of composing.

Michael Hannan has had a distinguished career as a composer and music researcher. He holds a PhD in music from the University of Sydney and was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles.

He is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Southern Cross University where he led the development of the contemporary music program, the first practical degree course in popular music in the world. Professor Hannan has worked in a variety of music situations including rock bands, advertising, music theatre and film, but his greatest musical passion is composing contemporary classical music for the piano and for classical music ensembles.

The concert will be held at the Nimbin School of Arts, on Sunday, November 13, at 3pm. The cost is $6 ($3 concession).