Stephen de Filippo


Stephen de Filippo is a new music composer from the regional South West of Western Australia. Now based in California, Stephen is currently a graduate researcher at The University of California – San Diego.

Stephen’s research explores the ideas of control and density in time-based notation forms — exploring these interactions though a variety of chamber works that focus on unique instrumental pairings, contemporary performance practice as a central device.

Composer website:

Featured Works

Clock-sung Lullaby, for prepared harpsichord and percussion.

Clock-sung Lullaby features a combination of amplified and prepared harpsichord as well as mixed percussion. The harpsichord is prepared in such a way that one layer of strings is muted, and when mic’d, the amplification brings out the mechanism of this instrument which normally is not appreciated. Through pairing the harpsichord with a mixture of drums, chains, wood blocks, and crotales, an image of an entropic clock can be evoked.

Featured in the playlist Percussive Waves (April 2017)

Two Pieces, for soprano and string quartet.

Two Pieces explores the re-contextualisation of the string quartet and singer combination — moving away from the art-song tradition and instead, presenting the soprano with a more-instrumental role.

In its first incarnation, the soprano and string quartet are separate — the soprano provides the rhythmic underpinning that subverts the quartet’s interjectory gestures. The quartet reacts, and at times, dominates the soprano’s chattering — performing shrill and jarring harmonics, in a register well above the capacity of the human voice.

The second movement sees the soprano working within the ensemble, primarily in unison with the second violin and viola. This movement features further agitation and an emphasis on more percussive performance techniques by the strings.

Featured in the playlist String Quartet Waves (March 2019)