Joseph Twist


Born in Australia and now living in the United States, multi award winning composer/arranger Joe Twist is a versatile and eclectic musician. Straddling both film music and concert music arenas, his music crosses genres ranging ancient vocal music, opera, contemporary orchestral music, jazz, musical theatre and cabaret. Twist has received wide acclaim for his music for film and television, and his concert works are performed frequently by many professional ensembles around the world.

Composer website:


Dancing With Somebody, for string quartet.

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.

Featured in Spotify Waves – February 2017 (01/02/2017)

Hymn of Ancient Lands, for SATB (divisi) Chorus with Soprano Solo.

Commissioned by Mary and Paul Pollard for Musica Viva Australia and dedicated to Christopher.
For Stephen Layton and The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2015-16.

Featured in Sacred Music Waves – December 2019


Joseph Twist was interviewed for the Making Conversation: Australian Composers’ Podcast, Episode 17, 17/07/17.