Connor D’Netto (b. 1994) is a Brisbane based composer of contemporary classical music, described as “the model contemporary Australian composer ” by ABC Classic FM.
Throughout his works, Connor balances the quasi-neoclassical with post-minimal influences, combining them with contemporary performance practices, unique one-off concerts and performances, and the delicate incorporation of electronic music elements and production techniques. His music combines driving post-minimal rhythmic elements with heartfelt lyrical expression drawn from his extensive performance experience as a classically trained bass baritone, contrasted with textural devices that push the expectations of an instrument’s capabilities without confronting the audience. Connor’s music has been commissioned and performed across Australia and abroad, including commissions from ensembles such the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Queensland’s Camerata and new music specialists PLEXUS, and performers such as Katie Noonan, Karin Schaupp and Claire Edwards.
In 2017, Connor has been selected as a fellow of Bang On A Can. As part, his music will be featured at Bang On A Can’s Summer Music Festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts (MASS MoCA) in July, and will travel to the USA to take part in a three-week residency with the ensemble.
In 2015, Connor was named winner of Chamber Music Australia’s Australian New Works Award. His winning work, String Quartet No. 2 in E minor, became the set work for the 7th Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and received premieres by three internationally chosen finalist ensembles at the Melbourne Recital Centre. He has also been awarded a Brisbane Arts and Cultural Innovation Award 2017 for his contribution to the Arts, the Percy Brier Memorial Composition Prize 2016 for his Texture No. 1 for Orchestra , and the Donald Tugby Musicology Prize and Scholarship 2015 by the University of Queensland for exceptional contribution to the field of music research.
Connor is the artistic director, producer, and co-founder of the successful contemporary classical music concert series and collective Argo . Founded in 2015, Argo creates immersive art music experiences bending the boundaries of genre and artform, combining contemporary classical music with electronic music, live-visuals, and fostering creative collaborations between artists of various mediums. Its focus is on creating experiential and concept driven events that fuse classical instruments and ensembles with contemporary influences and new modes of musical expression. To find out more about Argo, head to www.argosound.com.
As a performer, Connor is a trained classical bass, having previously studied with Shaun Brown. Connor is also a talented photographer, videographer and visual-artist, creating and shooting not only material for his music, but also for a number of other local artists and musicians. Currently Connor is working on his PhD through the University of Queensland, having completed a Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the University of Queensland, graduating with First-Class Honours in 2016. In September, Connor moves to London, where (while continuing his PhD) he will study his Masters of Music at the Royal College of Music.
Composer website: www.connordnetto.com
3 Adoxographies, for solo piano.
(n.) beautiful writing on a subject of little or no importance
To be precise, it is a modern word, which describes an ancient method to train the art of rhetoric. This method is described by Anthony Munday, in an English translation of an Italian book, The Defence of Contraries 1593, whereas the noun is first used in The Conflict of Religions in the Early Roman Empire 1909 by Terrot Glover. However the adjective adoxographical preceded it, used in the American Journal of Philology in 1903.
[from the modern Latin adoxus paradoxical or absurd derived from the Greek root doxa opinion or belief, and the French suffix -graphie writing or field of study]
Featured in Playlist 7: Eclectic Waves, 31/7/2015
String Quartet No. 2 in Eminor, for string quartet.
When approaching this work, I found myself drawn to more measured means of composition. Whereas in most of my works find themselves created out of loose structures and planning, with ease and freedom for spontaneous changes, here I became entranced by a numeric approach, measuring out the entire work to the bar and relating the shape and structure of the form, as well as tempo changes, to a predetermined ratio. Here, slowly evolving rhythmic figures give way from one section to the next, connecting seemingly adjunct elements across the space of the work. Sparse repetitive textures melt into soulful melodies, while aggressing pulsating is able to emerge across the distance.
Featured in the playlist: Small Ensemble Waves (1/3/2016)
Summer / Summer for solo saxophone, two voices, and ensemble.
“Outside Warm breeze, soft grass, sun It’s strangely quiet, the heavy air The birds are calling somewhere else Mother says close the windows before the rain but, the smell of it – How could I? Outside the clouds are Soft, white, gentle Looking down on worlds below From crowded spaces Passing by The humming, dizzying, sleepless – A million pieces of black glass Peaking into other places Inside a small, well furnished room Overlooking crowded streets Warm tones, busy, bright The distant din of social lives Unread books and paper piled high – The room is rarely occupied Father says make sure you rest But, there – So much to see Outside Verdant, expansive fields It’s perfectly quiet, for once Feeling time, it moves too fast Slipping past With every breath Outside the clouds are Flat, endless, grey A backdrop to the worlds below The sunsets aren’t quite as vivid Peaking into crowded spaces A bird is singing – Calling somewhere else Inside A small unfurnished room Yet to be filled with books and papers The humming, sleepless din silenced Mother asks how is the weather – It’s raining softly”
Connor D’Netto was interviewed for the Making Conversation: Australian Composers’ Podcast, Episode 9, 08/06/16.