Andrew Ball


Andrew Ball is a composer and saxophonist based in Brisbane, Australia. With a uniquely kinetic, intricate and colourful compositional voice, Andrew draws inspiration from an eclectic variety of contemporary classical, avant-garde, improvised, and electronic musics. His compositional approach consistently extends the limits of instruments and their performers, and aims to challenge attitudes and ideologies surrounding all aspects of context and genre. Andrew is an active performing and writing member of the Barega Saxophone Quartet, Enthusiastic Musicians Orchestra (E.M.O) big band, nu-wave brass band Bullhorn, and neo-soul band His Merry Men.

Andrew has completed commissions for ensembles including Barega Sax Quartet, the Queensland Saxophone Orchestra, Collusion quartet, E.M.O, Con Artists big band, Argot Project, Diana Tolmie, Lyre duo, the Australian Saxophone Orchestra and others.

Composer website:

Featured Works

Clockwork Ghost, for bass clarinet, viola, cello and prepared piano.

Clockwork Ghost was written in early 2012 for Collusion, an energetic riff-based work exploring the textural and percussive possibilities of an unusual instrumentation. The work’s title and theme is based on an appealing juxtaposition of the mechanical and supernatural – evoking an eerie malfunctioning automaton. A sense of menacing energy is created with subtle rhythmic displacement and howling bass clarinet and viola melodies.

Featured in Playlist 2 – Other-Worldly Waves (28/02/2015)

Jengu, for tenor saxophone.

Jengu is a work from a developing series of solo saxophone pieces that explore the concept of unconventional musical syntax relating to extended idiomatic techniques specific to the instrument. This work is structured by the gradual transformation and vertical layering of various textures in kinetic ostinato-like cells.

Featured in Playlist 11 – Saxophone Waves (30/11/2015)

Deux ex Machinist, saxophone quartet and tape.

A “deus ex machina” in literature is an abrupt and unrealistic method of plot resolution. The text of Deus Ex Machinist explores a more literal meaning to the translation ‘god in the machine’ and the duality between life and death, natural and mechanical sounds. This work was composed through a kind of reverse text-setting, where live instruments and electro-acoustic samples are orchestrated to a transcription of a spoken-word recording.

Featured in Spoken Waves (September 2016)

HeartSpring, for electronics

A compositional exploration into sound design and musique concrete. Constructed exclusively with raw and digitally manipulated samples I captured of various springs, wires, metallic and mechanical objects.

Featured in Radiophonic Waves (March 2018).

Time on the scale of a colossus, for Saxophones & Clarinets

Recorded live at the Sydney Conservatorium 26 July 2014. ‘Colossus’ was a collaborative concert between Barega Sax Quartet and clarinettists Andrew Kennedy and Annie Larsen, featuring primarily new Australian compositions.

Featured in Harmonic Waves (May 2019).