Perth composer Alex Turley is rapidly emerging as one of the freshest voices of his generation in Australian classical music. Honing a personal voice that is focused on fluidity and organicism, his recent output has focused primarily on orchestral and chamber music, as well as choral and vocal music. Turley’s music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles across Australia and beyond, including the Melbourne and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, Voyces, Naya Chorale, Gondwana Choirs, the Maverick Saxophone Quartet, and the Grey Wing Trio.
City of Ghosts (2015) was selected by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to be performed in the 2016 Metropolis New Music Festival, under the baton of leading American conductor Robert Spano. The work was commissioned through support from the Cybec Foundation. The recent Concerto for Saxophone (2015) was composed for friend and longtime collaborator David Gioia, and received its premiere late in 2015. With the support of a Young Artist Development Grant from the Department of Culture and the Arts, the concerto is set to be recorded with a hand-picked professional ensemble and released independently later in 2016. Other recent awards include the Joondalup Arts in Focus Composition Grant for Ink (2013), and First Prize in the Voyces ‘Aspire’ Competition for Watercolour (2014).
Turley holds a Bachelor of Music from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and is currently a candidate for Honours in Composition, where he studies primarily with Lachlan Skipworth and Lindsay Vickery.
Composer website: alexturley.com
Efflorescence, for chamber orchestra.
This work was written as part of an engagement with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra for their 2014 Composition Project. For me, Efflorescence (‘to flower out’) is essentially about growth and decay – I was looking to open with simplicity and build complexity throughout the work, only to reach a peak and eventually die out to silence. In musical terms this piece represents an exploration of the different timbres that can be achieved when lines are blurred between different instruments, and when elements are layered upon one another.
Featured in Playlist 10 – Existential Waves (31/10/2015)
To See a World in a Grain of Sand, for voice and electronics.
To see a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
The words of William Blake (1757-1827), taken from his ‘Auguries of Innocence’, speak of finding great wonder in the smallest of things, and in keeping with this theme I have taken a simple melody and let it flower into a complex sound world. Originally mixed for a 5.1 surround setup, this is a piece made up of nothing but the voice of one singer, Monica Brierley-Hay.
Featured in Experimental Waves – May 2016 (1/05/2016)
Alex Turley was interviewed for the Making Conversation: Australian Composers’ Podcast, Episode 5, 23/10/16.