Perth composer, arranger, and writer Alex Turley (b. 1995) has had works performed by renowned Australian musical groups including the Melbourne and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, Voyces, Gondwana Choirs, and the Maverick Saxophone Quartet. He was recently awarded the Joondalup Arts in Focus Composition Grant, First Prize in the Voyces ‘Aspire’ Competition, and Best Instrumental Performance in the North of Perth Music Festival. Turley has composed works used in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Perth Fringe World Festival and wrote an award-winning soundtrack for short film Kinetophobia.
In 2016, his music was chosen by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to be premiered in the Metropolis New Music Festival. Alex talks us through the composition in this story we published on 11 May.
I Am Sleepless.
Alex Turley, 2015. Score for tenor and piano, parts for tenor (range C#3-F#4). From the composer: “A song which strives for simplicity through ambiguity, setting a beautiful text by Ancient Chinese poet Du Fu. I focus on the interaction between fluid melodic lines in the tenor voice and a block chord style in the piano”.
. Alex Turley, 2014. Score and parts for saxophone quartet. From the composer: “Moondream
is…inspired by images of night, imagination and dreaming. The work invites the listener into a soundscape which explores rhythmic ambiguity, gesture and interaction, weaving melodic and rhythmic patterns together into a patchwork texture”.
Alex Turley in collaboration with poet Erin Moncrieff, 2014. Score for SATB. Winner of Voyces: Aspire Competition 2014. From the composer: “Erin’s poem speaks of feeling adrift and disconnected from the world, a confusion of identity and loss of heritage. To reflect this, the music drifts from place to place, never settling into a steady key or meter, always changing”.
Alex Turley, 2013. Score for alto saxophone and piano, parts for alto saxophone. From the composer: “The piece explores aspects of improvisation and aleatoric elements, calling for lush melodic material in the saxophone supported by dense cluster chords in the accompaniment”.
Sonatina for Solo Clarinet.
Alex Turley, 2012. Three movement score for clarinet. “A piece which explores the different characters of the clarinet sound. The piece ranges from dark and brooding to light and playful”.
Three Songs of Spring.
Alex Turley, 2012. Score for SATB. From the composer: “This piece for SATB choir explores musical imagery, atmosphere and colour, taking the form of three separate songs to be sung through without breaks: ‘Night Rain’, ‘Bright Day’ and ‘Spring’s Ending’. The text of this work is taken from poetry by the Ancient Chinese poet Du Fu (712 – 770 AD), and it is my intent to create a ‘musical painting’ of the imagery depicted in the text”.