Dean Stevenson

Musician | Songwriter | Composer

Facing North

Last year Dean was awarded a residency in the North West of Tasmania by the Cradle Coast Campus. He was the first musician/composer and performing artist to be awarded this residency which was an honour in itself, but the real treat was in the music of the region he spent a month living in. As one of the musical educators of the region, David Turner said, because there is a limited amount of touring music being performed in the region, there isn’t as much of an opportunity to go and see it. So…they have to make it themselves. This is true of many rural places of the world that create and innovate due to a lack of the flow-through of tours and arts funding.

Dean’s idea, in the beginning, was to write music to be recorded by the people of the north west that could become part of an installation within the cradle coast campus that the local musicians could be proud of. A music that could tell a north west story, or at least be inspired by a north western perspective. When he began this journey, he had no idea just how big the community music participation of the north west was and to what extent they would embrace this project and feed into it.

And now, Dean has been awarded the residency for a second year running. This means living on the north west for another month this year to fully realise this wonderful region into a large scale piece of music.

The project has now been adopted by Tasmania’s Ten Days on the Island festival and will premiere in March 2017 in Burnie. Watch this space for more info!

 

 

Spiders = orchestra and Australian pop diva. What?

As mentioned in earlier posts, I was fortunate to be asked by the Bookend Trust to compose music for their up-coming film Sixteen Legs; a film on the Tasmanian Cave Spider featuring a host of marvellous people including the narration of Neil Gaiman and the beautiful sounds of Kate Miller-Heidke. I waited for a long while for the crews to come in with enough footage to begin assembling, and when they did…whoah! So this spider is amazing and really, really big. The footage by Joe Shemesh is in 4K, award winning and shockingly beautiful. He’s caught the spider doing a lot of things including eating crickets and…yes…having sex. That’s the big one. Never caught quite like it before. Kooky, I know. And there are caves under Tassie that will put the most grand cathedrals to shame.

I had the deep privilege of recording much of the score with the wonderful Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gary Wain (what a legend!) and then to Melbourne to add the extraordinary voice of Kate Miller-Heidke. What Kate did to the music is to be heard to be believed. I simply can’t do it justice by describing it here. Kate was a wonderful, gentle, utterly professional soul to work with and I can’t wait for you to hear it.

 

Keep a look out in late 2016 for Sixteen Legs. Here’s a preview of Joe’s award winning shots of the spiders in habitat.

 

 


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