Composer 2022: Scott Copeman “eclipse”

Scott is renewing his compositional vows after nearly two decades dedicated to the musical education of young musicians in Sydney, Melbourne and Edinburgh, Scotland. He is chuffed that, at his age, he is still considered an ‘emerging’ composer.

Scott studied composition with Anne Boyd, Ross Edwards and Peter Sculthorpe at the University of Sydney before a shift of focus led to his immersion in the world of music education.

His music attempts to explore the extraordinary that lies within the ordinary and finding simplicity in complexity. He has a crack with a range of instrumental and vocal palettes,. His works include ‘Red Gum’, a song cycle commissioned by The Australian Children’s Choir for three-part (SSA) children’s choir, ‘Eclipse’ for Wind Symphony and ‘The Tree Project’ for String Quartet, which was premiered by the Flinders Quartet as part of their Composer Development program in 2020. He was awarded a residency with the Flinders Quartet through Scarlet’s Fund, and composed a work for String Octet, ‘Brambles’ in 2021.

Most recently Scott has composed ‘Three Memories’ for Piano Trio, and is currently undertaking a Master of Music at the University of Melbourne, studying with Dr Katy Abbott.

Scott teaches music performance and composition at East Doncaster Secondary College, but his most treasured role is as father to his two magical and mighty children, India and Sasha.

PROGRAM NOTES: “eclipse”

When a celestial body is obscured we react with anticipation, wonder and fear. The eclipse suspends our regular awareness as the unchanging sun or moon – bodies that have been ever-present in our lives – are changed. We change.

This work is a semi-programmatic exploration of an eclipse. The three movements represent three of the events that occur during an eclipse: the penumbra refers to the position of the viewer when the body is partially obscured and shadow emerges. Light is diffracted and diffused and likewise this movement uses unsettled harmonic, rhythmic and timbral elements.

The umbra is the point of total eclipse, when the body is completely hidden from view. Here the sound is veiled and blurred although harmonies become more settled before the fourth contact occurs, when the shadow of the eclipse leaves the body altogether. Here the woodwinds paint radiant streams of descending light as the body is revealed.

Light returns.

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