Elliott Hughes is a Melbourne-based composer and trumpet player who combines interests in new music (contemporary classical), jazz and electroacoustic music. His works have been performed extensively in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, and across Australia by leading groups and ensembles such as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Bennetts Lane Big Band, Syzygy Ensemble, Brad Linde’s BIG OL’ Ensemble, and the University of Melbourne Orchestra.
Hughes has been a featured artist at the Washington DC Jazz Festival, Atlantic Music Festival, Metropolis New Music Festival, Perth International Jazz Festival, and Perth Fringe Festival. He studied at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and has received numerous prizes, grants and commissions. Hughes has twice toured the USA presenting new works for large jazz ensemble, and released a CD in 2012 with his 14-piece group Horizon Art Orchestra.
Dry Submerged – Windswept Still.
Elliott Hughes. Score for 9 tenor trombones and 2 bass trombones. From the composer: “It is common to reflect on the cyclical and often extreme nature of the Australian climate, and it is referenced famously in song and literature. The observation of climate and its effect on the landscape contributed to the four separate textures within this work. This piece was also influenced by the music of two Australian composers, Peter Sculthorpe and Anne Boyd, who both acknowledge the impact the landscape has had on their music.”
Dust and a Strong Economy.
Elliott Hughes. Score for clarinet and percussion. From the composer: “Politicians often tell us that our lives will be made better by a growing economy. But at what expense? This piece was in part motivated by our leaders’ response to climate change, which seemingly always prioritised the economy over the planet. Defiantly, we aim for this limitless economic expansion while the natural world contracts. While human interference has resulted in less biodiversity on the planet, within the cycle of life all things eventually break down to soil after death. The sight of a decaying animal (the second motivation for this piece) can make one realise that over time, despite the benefits of a strong economy, we will all turn to dust.”