In October I was fortunate to play with the Australian Haydn Ensemble on their tour to USA. What a wonderful group of musicians. We played Mozart Symphony 29; Haydn symphones 6, 8 and a JC Bach Symphony in g minor. A week in residence at Chapman University in Orange County, CA followed by concerts in Carnegie Hall, New York; the new Australian Embassy in Washington, DC along with Morristown Museum, St. John's University and Horiwitz Performing Arts Centre Maryland.
Since returning I played two concerts with Grevillea Ensemble (Wendy Dixon and David Miller) performing the Aria from Bach's BWV 14, Schubert's Auf dem Strom and my piece Five and Seven. The following Saturday (Nov 11) I performed the same Bach with it's extreme high register horn part in the Sydney Bach Cantata Project. My thanks to both those groups for bringing a 40 year old dream to life.
I co-curate Sydney MicroFest with Kraig Grady. On 12 June we are presenting 3 concerts: Tickets from Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/342526655447
Diamond Fanfare (Fanfare IV) for four horns by Michael Hugh Dixon performed by Gergely Mályusz, Annalisa Solinas, Graham Nichols, Michael Hugh Dixon
Piano Piece by Warren Summers performed by Warren Summers
Music for 8 wine glasses with trombone by Amanda Cole performed by Amanda Cole, Warren Summers and Gregory van der Struik
Seven and Nine for bassoon with pre-recorded horn ensemble by Michael Hugh Dixon performed by Ben Hoadley
Double for solo bassoon by Karlo Margetić performed by Ben Hoadley
Skullen a Coldie at the Servo with M8tes by Peter Thoegersen a polytempic, polymicrotonal duet for horn and trombone
performed by Michael Hugh Dixon and Gregory van der Struik
Trio in Free Time by Michael Hugh Dixon performed by Gergely Mályusz, Annalisa Solinas, Graham Nichols
Fanfare III for four horns by Michael Hugh Dixon performed by Gergely Mályusz, Annalisa Solinas, Graham Nichols, Michael Hugh Dixon
New Work by Nick Ashwood performed by Laura Altman, Nick Ashwood and Jim Denley
The Celestial Tangle by Kraig Grady
performed by Jess Boyle, Kraig Grady, Joshua Mills, Terumi Narushima, Jariss Shead, and Jiahong Zhao, with live actions by Hayley Carrick
Chewing Bread, Company Time Part 1, Company Time Part 2 by Jack Tickner performed by Basil’s Kite
Best wishes to all for 2022.
May we all have the strength to make our way through whatever comes our way and the wisdom and love to do so well.
I hope we can have a good year making music at home or out and about and get much enjoyment out of our personal practice.
14 November 2021: I performed an extraordinary work a week ago, for Microtonal University, with trombonist Gregory van der Struik. Peter Thoegersen wrote Skullen a Coldie at the Servo with M8tes at my request. Each player is in a different time, tempo and tuning. You can see/hear it on YouTube here - https://youtu.be/p0IgBP2hHx4 - or hear it with the audio mixed better on BandCamp here - https://peterthoegersen.bandcamp.com/track/skullen-a-coldie-at-the-servo-w-m8ts. This is what Peter says of the piece: "Skullen a Coldie works by centric use of various sets that constantly change through the piece. Each brass instrument has its own sets and they both share pitches, however a few cents off, due to the individuality of the tunings. The tunings have their own unique microtones that are exploited, both structurally and linearly: it's neither tonal nor atonal, but a blend. No one leads and no one follows, so it's not dux/comes; it's not a fugue, yet the polytempo provides perfect ligatural separation of beats culminating in a perpetually pushed forward linear voice leading that comes naturally due to the asymmetrical nature of polytempo. The tempo changes delineate several organic connected sections of the parts that do not coincide, thus changing the moods of each voice independently: tranquil vs agitato, e.g., and there are independent tempo changes that further create a feeling of contrapuntal separation. Then there are also repeated gestures based on pitch/rhythmic behaviors in each instrument, noticeably throughout the piece, a la idee fixe, and there are harkenings of both Chopinesque and Wagneresque stylings in each part/voice that are semi-humorously referenced smack in the middle of thickened textures--as there is also a counterpoint of textures. Each instrument has vocalizations sung into the instrument to generate multiphonics for effect, so as to add an extra dimension of texture. In terms of articulation, there are independent sections of staccato/legato that are separate and alternate between the voices that add to the spatial distancing of each part, which can be heard even in Zoom."
9 October 2021
My new piece, Five and Seven, is now on BandCamp. It's playful with just intonation harmonies and for solo horn with a quartet of horns. The solo part could be suitable for high quality high school students and a sound file of the quartet will be available. https://thebrasswhisperer1.bandcamp.com/track/five-and-seven
Andre Avanessian of Radio Airplay said this in his review:
"With its incredibly quirky yet mature sense of melody and harmonic development, "Five and Seven" is a brilliantly conceived Brass based composition that is both musically daring and strikingly playful in nature. Michael Hugh Dixon has crafted an intriguing and fascinating piece that contains many a bold twist and turn, ensuring listeners are kept firmly engaged from start to finish. This was a highly absorbing listening experience, well done Michael!
This is an extremely well-performed piece, and the performances really do inject the composition with an abundance of added character as well as doing a great job of incorporating many of the unique techniques associated with the brass family of instruments, this results in an incredibly accomplished and assured performance that does a very fine job of bringing Michael's musical vision to life. Melodically this is an extremely exciting piece, and through its use of unconventional harmony and compelling counterpoint, a marvelous amount of musicality is achieved, and Michael's careful handling of the piece's thematic development ensures that the arrangement flows exceptionally well. Ideas have been woven together meticulously and this culminates in a seamlessly free-flowing piece of music that never feels disjointed."
17 August 2021
I got notification that Epictetus The Elder received 3rd prize in the Academia Musica 2nd International Music Competition. I turned the audio recording into a video which can be seen here: https://youtu.be/jaRi7Q1MO10
New work for 2 horns in extended just intonation will be heard in the upcoming IHS (International Horn Society) Symposium (August 2021) online. The video performance is by myself and Annalisa Solinas. The work is titled arapacana and an excerpt can be heard on this site.
June 25 Cut Common Magazine put this article online -
April 2021: Beaut surprise this morning, number 1 in the March chart of NewAgeMusicGuide Radio