Sally Greenaway was the inaugural recipient of the Merlyn Myer Music Commission. Since the premiere of Sally’s new work, The 7 Great Inventions of the Modern Industrial Age, in the Salon in April 2016, it has been re-staged at The Street Theatre in Canberra and was recently awarded the ACT state award for Instrumental Work of the Year at the 2017 APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards.
Initiated by the Merlyn Myer Fund and co-developed by Melbourne Recital Centre, the commission is an important opportunity for female Australian composers. In a partnership with Melbourne Recital Centre, the Merlyn Myer Fund commissions new work by one Australian female composer each year.
The 7 Great Inventions of the Modern Industrial Age was re-appropriated for a theatre setting and had a sold-out season of five performances at The Street Theatre in July 2017, receiving excellent reviews. Upon reflection, Sally Greenaway says ‘The opportunity to put the show on again and to see it re-interpreted with a new creative team has been of outstanding value to me as the composer and visionary behind the work. It’s been a unique and rare opportunity for both me and the musicians to present a season of repeat performances over several nights. Normally a composer’s work gets a short rehearsal period and one performance, so to have experienced many performances back to back has given an incredible insight into the work itself and deepened my experience as a composer. It also allowed the musicians, Syzygy Ensemble, the chance to finesse, evolve and grow their ideas and interpretation which is a rare opportunity in the contemporary music world.’
Sally’s vision for continued performance of the work remains strong, and she is working to present the 60 minute-long ‘infomercial musical’ within festival and school environments. Sally is thankful to Melbourne Recital Centre and the Merlyn Myer Fund for the chance write a new work that saw her collaborate with artists from genres other than music, and try new things without fear, in the knowledge that it was guaranteed a performance.
The recipient of the 2017 Merlyn Myer Music Commission is Andrea Keller. Andrea is composing her new work in collaboration with Ensemble Offspring and sound designer Jem Savage, in preparation for its premiere performance in the Salon on 28 November 2017.