In Workshop with Tan Dun at the Oz Asia Festival 2012

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This year, I took part in a young composer’s residency with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and the Oz Asia Festival. Here, I was asked to write a piece for small ensemble and the ancient Chinese zither called the guqin to be performed by the highly accomplished Xiaoxia Zhao, and members of the ASO. Grammy Award-winning composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, Internet Symphony) heard all the pieces in workshop, and along with feedback for the pieces, he gave us insight into his musical world and journey as a composer.

All pieces were performed in a concert that followed on the 23rd of September at Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre. My piece, along with the others, was reviewed in ArtsHub:

The next work is Awakening by Christopher Larkin; the highlight of the afternoon. It moves through a series of changes as if through dreams into full consciousness. Each shift is marked with a note rung, gong-like, on a Tibetan bowl and the opening and closing gongs mean that the work seems to include the silences immediately before and after it, blurring the edges of the performance. This is also definitely the afternoon’s most accessible work, taking recognisable themes and developing them throughout the ensemble. – Katherine Gale 24/09/2012

All of the composers were taken under the guidance of accomplished Australian composer and conductor James Ledger, who also conducted the new compositions. To work alongside such talented composers and performers was a huge privilege, and an experience I will remember for years to come!

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