Composer 2019 Lisa Cheney

PROGRAM NOTE: Turbulence

Turbulence explores the notion of ‘forces at play’ in our everyday lives. During the brainstorming process of this work I was fascinated by how such strong, natural, atmospheric, religious, physical and emotional forces all have the possibility to coexist, working both together and against each other. I wished to create a work that wasn’t necessarily lyrical, rather, fast, crunchy and loud with a blurred tonality, bursts that generate up a whirl of sound, gaining and decreasing energy that continues to compound on itself reflecting the ways in which forces both coexist and clash with each other. As part of the composing process I took the opportunity to explore serial techniques as a means to extend my harmonic language, taking the work to a more ambiguous and at times, conflicting sound world.

BIOGRAPHY: Lisa Cheney

Lisa Cheney (b.1987) is an Australian composer of acoustic and acousmatic music, hailing from Queensland and now living in Melbourne. Her music communicates through varied styles which often explore notions of connection and authenticity through fascinations with the ‘edge’ of beauty; expression, poeticism, fragility, delicacy, resonant space, pacing, light and dark and atmospheric soundscapes. Cheney’s work has been described as ‘atmospheres of unfathomable spaciousness’ (Partial Durations), ‘melodic slivers with plaintive intensity’ (The Australian) and ‘fantastic and frightening in its detail and colour’ (Resonate).

Her body of work incorporates orchestra, chamber, voice, acousmatic collaborations, arrangements, theatre and ballet for the Southern Cross Soloists, The Australian Voices, the MSO, TSO and the Australian Ballet.
Cheney holds degrees from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and is currently completing a PhD in Music at The University of Melbourne, supervised by Dr. Elliott Gyger and Dr. Katy Abbott-Kvasnica.

In 2017 Cheney was named Victorian Young Achiever of the Year for the Arts and was a recipient of the Art Music Fund to write a new opera for children based on Edward Lear’s nonsense poem, The Owl and the Pussycat. In 2018 her cello an electroacoustic work ‘When We Speak’ was a finalist for Instrumental Work of the Year at the Art Music Awards. She is also a co-founder of Making Waves New Music.