Simon Eastwood


Composer and bass player Simon Eastwood completed a MMus with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London 2012, where he studied composition with David Sawer and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. He then spent several years working in London also attending residences in Dartington, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Lithuania, before returning to New Zealand in 2015. As a composer he cites a wide range of influences on his music from popular culture to the avant-garde and has had works performed around the world by a variety of artists including Franck Ollu, Martynas Levickis, CHROMA, Christopher Redgate, Stroma, the New Zealand String Quartet, and The BBC Singers. He also holds a BMus in Double Bass performance and Composition/ Sonic Arts from the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, where he has now returned in order to study towards a DMA in Composition.

Composer website:

Featured Works

Horror Vacui, for solo accordion.

Horror Vacui refers to the notion that nature abhors a vacuum, and that an empty space will always try to fill itself with gas or liquid. This principle was widely accepted by physicists for a long time until it was disproved in the 17th Century. The term literally means ‘fear of empty space’ and in visual art has come to be associated with works which are completely filled in with detail. In writing this work I was interested in creating a musical space which compulsively wants to fill itself as if the music were being sucked out from the accordion by a vacuum.

The work is dedicated to Martynas Levickis, for whom it was written.

Featured in New Zealand Waves (Special Edition 2018)