Nicholas Vines: Torrid Nature Scenes

Published in Discography, Music Incubator

Nicholas Vines: Torrid Nature Scenes

1-7. Butcher of Brisbane (24:18) | Carnival for solo saxophone(s) and chamber ensemble
Eliot Gattegno, saxophone(s); Callithumpian Consort, Stephen Drury cond.

8. Economy of Wax (9:27) | for soprano, flute/piccolo, viola, harp
Adrienne Pardee, soprano; Stephen Drury, cond.
Jessi Rosinski, flute/piccolo; Derek Mosloff, viola; Franziska Huhn, harp

9-15. Torrid Nature Scene (27:18) | A Romp in Seven Parts for soprano, mezzo-soprano, and chamber ensemble
Callithumpian Consort, Stephen Drury cond.
Paula Downes, soprano; Thea Lobo, mezzo-soprano
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TORRID NATURE SCENES, is an album of chamber works from Australian composer Nicholas Vines which presents a series of musical landscapes that instill both anxiety and ebullience in the listener. Through his innovative use of woodwinds, voice, and chamber ensemble, Vines – lauded for his “crackling style” (NewMusicBox) and called “compellingly original” (Boston Phoenix) and “both humorous and unsettling” (WGBH) – asks us to consider representations of nature fueled not by a passing glance of a wondrous vista, but by a series of creative engines wracked with self-burning energy, profound fury, and breath-filled life.

The Boston Globe described the Callithumpian Consort’s performance of Torrid Nature Scenes in January 2010 as having ” a luxuriant instrumental background (with) moments of arresting beauty”. Jane Sheldon’s performance of Economy of Wax with Ensemble Offspring in November 2009, was described by Peter McCallum in the Sydney Morning Herald as ” a beautifully conceived and executed project extending one’s mind out of usual listening projects to apprehend music and art within the vastness of nature’s patterns.”

In 2011 and 2012 Vines’ works won the Australasian Performing Right Association/ Australian Music Centre Art Music Awards for (respectively) Jane Sheldon’s renditions of Economy of Wax and Zubin Kanga of Uncanny Valley. In the summer of 2010, he was a Fellow in Composition at the Tanglewood Music Center.

Born in 1976, Nicholas Vines studied at the University of Sydney with Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards and Anne Boyd, receiving his BMus with first class honours and the university medal, and an MMus with high distinction. He completed the AM/PhD programme in composition at Harvard University in 2007, having been awarded the Sir Robert Gordon Menzies Scholarship for 2001-2002, as well as various Harvard fellowships. During his time there, he worked with Professors Elliott Gyger, David Lewin and Christopher Hasty, and Visiting Professors Judith Weir, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Magnus Lindberg, Brian Ferneyhough and Helmut Lachenmann.

He lectured on music at Harvard University and was an adjunct professor in music theory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Vines has also worked in various capacities at Wellesley College, the University of Sydney and the Australian International Conservatorium. Since 2007 he has been the New Works Programme Coordinator for the New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice. He recently took up the position of Artistic Director of Music at Sydney Grammar School. Vines is regularly involved in operas, choirs and choral productions as a bass-baritone and countertenor.

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