First Place Winner 2018 Australian Music Composition Competition
Cash Prize of $2,000 – Sponsored by Matt Withers
Visit Wade’s Facebook Page here
Somewhat of a chameleon composer, Wade Gregory is comfortable and active in multiple genres. A specialist in jazz and world music, he has composed and arranged for 18-piece jazz orchestras, 10-piece ensemble West End Composer’s Collective, and recently re-imagined 16 James Bond songs for a local jazz cabaret show. His pieces have been played by Brazilian bands Coisa Linda and Brisbane Choro Ensemble; he travelled to Jiayuguan China to hear a brass quintet composition played by Best of Brass, and has even composed for the unusual combination of jazz piano, guitar, erhu and guzheng.
Since moving to Shepparton four years ago, Wade has started working in orchestral and theatrical settings. Recent work include compositions for Goulburn Valley Concert Orchestra, assorted chamber works, and re-orchestrating over 20 musical theatre numbers for Shepparton Theatre Arts Group’s (STAG) 40th anniversary concert. In 2016 he composed music for STAG’s world premiere of John Head’s new play “Dookie”, including several pieces for orchestra and string quartet. The last two years have been consumed with writing, editing, and orchestrating “Dookie: The Musical” ahead of its 2018 world premiere.
Water Music is a suite of 3 pieces which may be played separately or in any combination. Its title, and the titles of its individual movements are inspired by the cyclical nature of water, and the inherent beauty and danger in three separate phases.
Clouds features fiery conversation between the instruments, with punchy rhythmic drive interwoven with the occasional soaring melody. Think flamenco meets Mission Impossible. To paraphrase Joni there are two sides: this piece evokes the dark anger of storm clouds yet also the rejuvenating rains they bring.
River was originally a lullaby for voice and guitar. It has since been re-imagined for piano and voice, piano quintet featuring viola, and now its latest incarnation. The melody is shared among the strings, each given its chance to shine, while the guitar accompaniment flows and shimmers underneath. A serene river can tame the most unsettled soul, yet in flood it becomes a nightmare of its own.
The final movement, a samba in 3/2 time, is a tribute to the Brazilian composers and artists I admire. The ocean is forever changing – calm, choppy, or cyclonic – but a beach is always inviting for a stroll, meditation, or even a samba party.
Hear these award winning works and more in concert in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne when Matt Withers and Acacia Quartet tour with their Imaginations program in August & September. Full details and tickets here
Read this Shepparton News article on Wade’s success.
Listen to Wade’s interview with ABC Goulburn Murray radio here, from Tuesday June 5th 2018, following the announcement of the prize.