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18 August 2017

Three new video uploads from our concert archives

Epithalamium by Andrew Ford

Floof by Esa-Pekka Salonen with Ensemble Offspring

Nuits, adieux by Kaija Saariaho with VOX, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs

So far we've also released more than 10 limited release audio tracks.  Available only for two weeks at a time, like us on facebook or subscribe to the YouTube channel so you don't miss out. 


16 June 2017

Great to be presenting at this year's Composition PD Day for ASME. So great to have the opportunity to talk about how to approach contemporary scores and share examples of the music that has been created for us. 


31 May 2017

In the studio this week recording Larry Sitsky's A Feast of Lanterns II, the last of our MATCH-funded works.  Great to see this project reaching it's conclusion. 

We've also added a few more YouTube concert videos:

• Moya Henderson's I Lost A World the Other Day

• Elliott Gyger's Petit Testament   To find out more about the piece and the studio recording click here


24 April 2017

New archival concert footage

The YouTube channel is growing. One of the advantages of having a performance history of almost two decades is that you gather a lot of archival material.  So we’re about to share some of these tracks 'from the vault' with you.  In the next month, as well as the regular limited release listening tracks, you’ll see new videos appearing from programs spanning more than a decade.  We’re giving you the opportunity to relive the memory of being there, or just to catch up on a performance you missed.  Listening or watching on your device is certainly not the same as experiencing a live performance, but it’s an easy way to share this music with your friends and also those who are too far away to come and see it first hand.  Hope you enjoy!

Some of this month's releases include:

Michael Berkeley Winter Fragments for mezzo-soprano, flute/piccolo, oboe/cor anglais, clarinet/bass clarinet, harp, violin, viola and cello from Tone Birds (2005).  View here

Gillian Whitehead's extraordinary epic Nga Haerenga for four female voices, percussion and narrator from The Journeys (2013).  View Movt I-IV here, Movt V here and Movt VI here.



Insect Songs session, Jenny with Vladimir Gorbach  

While you may not have seen Halcyon in performance yet this year, Jenny has been hard at work in the studio in the recent months, completing Matthew Hindson’s Insect Songs with guitarist Vladimir Gorbach in March and Ross Edwards’ latest song cycle Five Senses just last week with pianist Bernadette Harvey and percussionist Joshua Hill.  Next month she will be back in the studio recording Larry Sitsky’s A Feast of Lanterns II, the last of the MATCH-funded projects supported by Creative Partnerships Australia.  Those of you who supported this campaign last year have truly helped to add to the depth and breadth of new music in Australia and will allow more people to access these great, but less familiar, works by some of Australia’s most well-known composers.


Jenny in the studio with Ross Edwards, Bernadette Harvey and Joshua Hill 


It’s always great to hear your thoughts too but, unlike concerts where you can often chat afterwards and hear opinions first-hand, it's rarer to hear what audiences think of the recordings.  So it was lovely to receive this email recently. Here's some highlights:

I’m loving all your music of Australian composers that I have downloaded.  I love your Kingfisher CD. It is so beautiful.  It's in my cd player non stop….
Thanks so very much for challenging music lover’s minds.  Five years ago I never thought I would be into the songs and song cycles but I'm listening very closely to all the pieces now.
Thanks heaps for your performances.

What great feedback!  You can browse all our recordings here and listen to more material here.  And do let us know if you have a favourite album or track.  


13 March 2017

Halcyon has a new YouTube channel where you can view a range of Halcyon content, including concert footage, studio and live audio clips and other material. So far you can listen to works by Julian Yu, Michael Berkeley, Brad Taylor-Newling, Gordon Kerry and Moya Henderson.  To celebrate the diversity of Australian composition and to showcase an ever-expanding catalogue of recordings, Halcyon will also be uploading limited-release tracks regularly in 2017 so you can get to know better some of these great pieces. Up at the moment are the second movement of Nigel Butterley's Orphei Mysteria and the first movement of Sadie Harrison's Aster.  Subscribe to the channel or like our facebook page so you don't miss out on anything.  In the meantime, we'll be adding other material regularly. 

Thanks to Gwen Bennett and Loudmouth e-zine for a glowing review of the War Letters CD. 

“This music enhances and underlines the emotional impact of war in settings of letters written by people who experienced the actuality first hand, as relevant today as ever.”

You can read the full review hereYou can also listen to extracts to the full disc from Wirripang here.


30 November 2016

Halcyon is proud to announce the release of Waves III, the third installment in their acclaimed Waves EP series.  The EP features two commissioned works by Nigel Butterley and Raffaele Marcellino, both multi-movement song cycles inspired by Greek mythology.  Butterley's Orphei Mysteria (2008) is scored for mezzo-soprano, soprano, flute, clarinet, oboe, violin, viola, cello and guitar and Marcellino's A Strange Kind of Paradise (2013) for four female voices and harp.  For more information and to hear previews, click here

In celebration of the release, for a limited time you can listen to the first full movement of Orphei Mysteria, when you click the link above.   That's more than 9 minutes of free music to enjoy!


Also out is War Letters: New Music Commemorating WWI (Wirr 074).  Funded by the ANZAC Centenary Fund as part of a project instigated by composer Diana Blom, this album was produced after two highly successful performances last November.  Recorded at Western Sydney University and released by Wirripang, it features new works by four generations of Australian composers - Larry Sitksy, Diana Blom, Elliott Gyger and Nicole Murphy - reflecting on war and its effect on the ordinary individual .  These are personal stories captured in intimate chamber settings for soprano, mezzo-soprano, bass, viola, piano and percussion.  You can listen to extracts of the whole album and read more about it here

Listen to more of Halcyon on the soundcloud page halcyonwavesWe'll be regularly updating, so follow us to hear more tracks.


20 August 2016


Inspired by the words of Australian writers, The Poet’s Voice showcases Australian song and chamber music spanning fifty years and features the world premiere of Gordon Kerry’s Three Malouf Songs.  Joining Jenny in this program are soprano Alison Morgan, violinist Ewan Foster, cellist Geoffrey Gartner and pianist Daniel Herscovitch.

For more detailed information about the program, please click here

Sept 10 at 7.30pm
St Bede’s Anglican Church
14 College St Drummoyne
Tickets $35/$25

Commissioned by music lovers John and Denise Elkins, Gordon Kerry’s Three Malouf Songs is a reminder of the significant role the public can have in the creation of new work.  Taking to heart a comment Kerry made on stage during a performance about the importance of philanthropy, Denise approached him to write a work for piano quintet.  Delighted with the result, they jointly commissioned this second work for mezzo, violin, cello and piano.  You’ll have to wait till the night to hear it, but in the meantime you can listen here to Kerry’s Music (La Musique), written for Halcyon as part of the Kingfisher: Songs for Halcyon project.

Alongside the Kerry are three other substantial works: Roger Smalley’s virtuosic Piano Trio; Andrew Schultz’s Paradise - shortlisted for Vocal Work of the Year in this week’s Art Music Awards; and Elliott Gyger’s Petit Testament, setting the words of fictional poet Ern Malley.

Ern Malley was the brainchild of two poets, James McAuley and Harold Stewart, their two voices forming his words.  In the same way, the singers in this piece at times masquerade as one voice, sharing unisons and lines or alternating syllables.  At other times the two voices separate and reveal their individual identities.  It is part of a published collection of Ern Malley Songs, written by both students and staff of Melbourne University.  You can read more about the fascinating story of both the poet and the collection here.

Premiered by Halcyon in 2010 and recorded on our Waves I EP, you can listen to Petit Testament here until the concert. Alternatively you can just buy it here for less than a cup of coffee and support the work of both composer and artist.

And don't forget to check in on facebook during the coming weeks for more updates about the program.


20 May 2016


Great news!  We reached our funding target 2 days early and achieved 110% of our goal which means we will receive $11, 041 in donations plus the matched funding of $10,000 from Creative Partnerships Australia to go towards this year's recording projects.  A huge thank you to all who generously supported us (you know who you are).  We're really looking forward to getting in the studio in the next 12 months to make these recordings happen.

The funding will enable us to record Ross Edwards’ Five Senses (2013), Matthew Hindson’s Insect Songs (1998) and the Halcyon-commissioned A Feast of Lanterns II(2015) by Larry Sitsky.


Halcyon's 2016 recordings project is supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through MATCH

4 April 2016


The first concert for 2016 is fast approaching and we’re trying something new.  Start time is 5pm and duration will be around an hour only, so you can enjoy a show before dinner!  And ticket prices are only $25/$15.

Beginning the year on the most intimate scale, on April 16 Halcyon presents Of Earth and Stars, a program of solos and duos for voice and cello.
Featuring long-time collaborators Jenny Duck-Chong and Geoffrey Gartner, Of Earth and Stars will feature an array of small gems, spanning four decades and three continents. 

Program features:

Martin Wesley-Smith Uluru Song (1993)

Sadie Harrison Aster I and Aster II from Aster (1995 rev. .2014)

Michael Berkeley Typewriter Music (2014) & Brad Taylor-Newling Ombrone (2014) & Stars (2014)

Alberto Ginastera Puneña No. 2 (1976)

Julian Yu Three Haiku (1987)

Moya Henderson I Lost A World The Other Day (2014)  You can listen to this online here

Simon Holt Three songs from Six Caprices (1998)

The best way to experience music is to see and hear it live, so come along and spend an hour with two seasoned artists as they perform these richly diverse works inspired by the earth and stars.   Book now through Classikon

Date: Saturday 16 April at 6pm
Venue: St Bedes Anglican Church, 14 College St, Drummoyne
Tickets: $25/15 through Classikon

Artists:  Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano  Geoffrey Gartner  cello


• Our CD Kingfisher – Songs for Halcyon (TP 236) received an excellent review from Vincent Plush in the Australian (4.5 stars) recently.
Here’s a sample:

The recording sound is mellifluous and lucid, the liner notes comprehensive. In a sense, this is a beguiling sampler of recent Australian music and a testament to 15 years of Halcyon music-making.

For those of you who didn’t see it, you can read the full review here.
If you want to buy a copy ($25 plus p&h), order through Tall Poppies, email or just pick one up at the concert.


• We are currently running a MATCH funding campaign through Creative Partnerships Australia for our 2016 recording projects.  Thanks to the generosity of donors, we have so far raised 44% of our goal.  If you want to help us continue to create studio recordings and give this music the chance to be heard across the world, please consider supporting our campaign.  You can donate here. Every amount over $2 is tax deductible and will be matched dollar for dollar if we reach our funding target by May 20.

Thanks for your continued support and hope to see you at a concert soon.


MATCH 2016

15 February 2016


Undertaking recording projects of important works and commissions has been a key part of Halcyon’s work since 2006.  These compositions deserve to have a long life beyond their first performances and the recordings enable them to be heard and shared with a much wider audience for years to come. For more about our recordings click here.

In collaboration with composers and with the assistance of generous donors, we have been able to complete CDs showcasing the work of numerous Australian composers - Katy Abbott, Nigel Butterley, Ross Edwards, Andrew Ford, Elliott Gyger, Ruth Lee Martin, Raffaele Marcellino, Andrew Schultz, Dan Walker, Stephen Adams, Sharon Calcraft, Stuart Greenbaum, Graham Hair, Moya Henderson, Gordon Kerry, Kevin March, John Peterson, Paul Stanhope, Jane Stanley, Nicholas Vines and Gillian Whitehead.

Commencing today Halcyon has launched a campaign through Creative Partnerships Australia's MATCH program seeking donations to support our 2016 recording projects. Your donation will make a bigger difference during this time as every dollar that’s donated will be matched 1 for 1, as long as we reach the funding target. Plus every donation of $2 or more is tax deductible.     We have 96 days to realise this goal so please click here today to donate and support us and the creation of new music.

The MATCH donations will enable recordings of three important works: Ross EdwardsFive Senses: Five poems of Judith Wright (2013), Matthew Hindson’s Insect Songs (1998) and the Halcyon-commissioned A Feast of Lanterns II (2015) by Larry Sitsky.  If our target is exceeded, all proceeds will  go toward producing more recordings of new work.

Additionally this year, we are recording two new works by Andrew Schultz and Elliott Gyger, and releasing a third installment of our Waves series featuring Nigel Butterley and Raffaele Marcellino.

Looking forward to an exciting year ahead.


Halcyon's 2016 recordings project is supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through MATCH


15 November 2015

The long awaited Kingfisher CD is finally out!  21 new works for voice and instruments, all created for this project, are ready to share with you.  Were thrilled to see the end of so many years of work.  Thanks again to the composers for their generosity, the wonderful artists for their superb playing, Daniel Brown for the masterful engineering, Tall Poppies for the release and all those who have financially supported the creation of this CD. We couldn't have done it without you all!

You can read more about it here

The CDs are $28.30 (incl. postage and handling) each.  If you would like to order a copy, please contact Tall Poppies or Halcyon for details. 





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