Jack Frerer (Sydney) – 1st Place with House Away From Home

First place winner of the Matt Withers Young Australian Music Composition Competition
First place winner of the Matt Withers Young Australian Music Composition Competition

Jack is a 19-year-old guitarist and composer living in Sydney, Australia, currently undertaking a BA in Music at Sydney University/Sydney Conservatorium. He intends to study composition full time beginning next year, either at the Conservatorium or overseas.

Although he is primarily a jazz guitarist, over the last few years he has become increasingly more aware and interested in contemporary classical composition, discovering the work of Australian composers such as Nigel Westlake, Carl Vine, and Peter Sculthorpe, along with many others.

His recent works have been for larger ensembles and orchestras, having recently been selected to participate in the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra’s composers’ workshops, the KPO performing his piece Verisimilar last May. The Lane Cove Youth Orchestra are also currently preparing his piece Homage to Zelda for performance this coming September. Jack is currently working on a piece for Stephen Lalor’s mandolin ensemble, “Plektra”.

House Away From Home was written to reflect the experience of feeling homesick, desiring nothing more than to be in a place of familiarity and comfort. Being from New York City and growing up with an American father, Jack has always felt somewhat stuck in between cultures during his time in Australia, having moved to Sydney when he was 4. It has always been difficult to find a sense of being “at home”, something many others can no doubt relate to.

The use of digital delay was inspired by Nigel Westlake’s The Hinchinbrook Riffs, a piece Jack found to be a refreshing new perspective on classical guitar repertoire. Like Westlake’s piece, House Away From Home attempts to create a constant sense of momentum, never changing tempo or loosing energy thanks to the consistent echo of the delay.

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