Tim Newhouse

Composer, Musician and Arranger

May 2015

I have to have written over half of the material for my graduation recital by this time next month. It's scary but incredibly exciting too. On the horizon is an installation-type work for the WAAPA Big Band, with the aim of re-contextualising the role of this ensemble in the contemporary artistic world. I'm also rearranging Left To My Own Devices, which WAYJO commissioned me to make last year, for my recital ensemble which I have tentatively named the 'Tim Newhouse Art Orchestra'. I hope to collaborate with some awesome musicians and artists with this group beyond my uni degree, so watch this space...

Playing-wise - things are great because people still want me to play in things! I'm doing cool stuff with classical guitarist Jameson Feakes, where we totally abandon the conventional flute/guitar duo and explore really interesting free improv concepts. Tomorrow night I'm playing soprano in Ben Christensen's new work at PICA, which also features pieces by some of the best young contemporary classical composers in WA. Ben has a fascinating way of constructing structure and harmony that lends itself to a very distinctive sound, and I always enjoy working with him. ABC's recording the gig, too! WAYJO are also rehearsing hard; not only to premiere my piece Ron Stone Park (which is sounding fantastic, good work team) but also mature compositions by Kate Pass and Alana MacPherson, a lovely extended work by Amelia Jutilane-Maynard and a suite about bird migration by Melbourne composer and recent Bell award-winner James Mustafa (who I'm going to constantly bombard with questions while he's over here - sucked in!). I get to partake in lots of stuff that just doesn't happen in a big band: micro-timbral free improv, an improvised alto flute jazz solo, bass clarinet honking... it's a unique gig in the jazz landscape and the fact that it happens in Perth is down to Mace Francis and the WAYJO team. They're superstars.

I've had wonderful and encouraging chats with various mentors of mine about crazy things like grant applications and interstate touring - and thus I find myself in a great space musically because there's heaps of possibilities on the horizon. If only I didn't have to get my wisdom teeth out in a couple of months the holidays would be set up perfectly... but it just gives me more time to daydream, right?