Christina Green is a Melbourne-based composer, songwriter and performer. As a singer-songwriter she has performed at a wide range of venues and festivals in Melbourne and Victoria, as well as making appearances in Canada, the UK and the US. As a composer she has been active in composer-performer groups in Melbourne’s Brunswick and in the Dandenong Ranges, and her composed works have received performances by a range of ensembles and soloists in Australia, the UK and the US. She is the primary performer of her solo piano music.
Christina’s compositional style incorporates elements of minimalism and other 20th century idioms, jazz, popular and medieval music. She has completed postgraduate composition study with Australian composers Katy Abbott Kvasnica, Julian Yu, Stuart Greenbaum and Clare Maclean, following earlier undergraduate study with Peter Tahourdin and (briefly) US composer Donald Erb. Since 2010 she has enjoyed working on collaborative projects with visual artists and poets, reflecting her long-time interest in these artistic areas. Christina writes: ‘I aim to capture an immediacy from my response to the things that give me inspiration in the music I write, often beginning with improvised ideas. I work to craft my material, looking for an integrity and completeness for each piece. Much of my music, both instrumental music and songs, is inspired on some level by the idea of journey, and is often underpinned by a sense of relationship with place. Since 2003, elements of inspiration from Buddhist thought, writings and imagery, from my involvement in Buddhist practice, mostly in the Zen tradition, have become a strand in my work. My hope is that the connection with moment-to-moment awareness that I try to cultivate and bring into my work will be conveyed – with space for that to be different for each listener’.
Featuring polished lyrics, strong images and storytelling, accomplished guitar work and (since 2011) expanding to include a growing exploration of the distinctive voice of the ukulele, Christina’s songs tell stories of people and events that have inspired or moved her, and bring together politics, spirituality, quirky vignettes and tales, and personal stories with emotional layers. A sense of place also features in many of her songs, which capture the essence of things and convey the richness of the everyday, drawing on vivid images and styles ranging from folk-rock and punk to cabaret/chanson. In 2017 Christina is promoting Some Days/Life I Can Live across a range of launch gigs. The 28 tracks (24 songs and 4 instrumentals) are drawn from Christina’s songwriting journey over nearly two decades, bringing together stories from travels in Canada, life in Melbourne, and a couple of tales from an earlier life in the UK also. Contributions from Tracey Roberts (keyboard/backing vocals), Louise Godwin (cello), Hayley Anderson (violin), Peter Anderson and Sue Carr Amico (accordion), Miranda Hill (double bass) and Rachel Nendick (alto saxophone) create richness in the song arrangements across a range of styles, combined with the vocals and multi-instrumental work of the songwriter/composer. – August 2017
Composer website: https://www.christinagreen.net
Stone, for baritone voice, trumpet in C, trombone, bass clarinet.
The piece is a setting of Stone, a poem by Serbian-American poet Charles Simic (b. 1938), from What the Grass Says (Santa Cruz: kayak, 1967). I was moved by the vivid imagery in this poem and resonated with its focus on becoming a stone, going beyond ideas of stone as symbol and moving into the territory of the stone as a physical presence in the world and its connectedness as such with other life.
Featured in Vocal Waves (September 2017).