VSV teacher commissioned to create new musical work to help revitalise Australian composition and performance

tim d

Dr. Tim Dargaville, VCE Music teacher at Virtual School Victoria (VSV), has recently been awarded a prestigious commission by the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) to create a new work for the ANAM Set – a bold and ambitious commissioning project designed to deliver confidence and vision in Australia’s creative future.

Funded by the Federal Government’s RISE initiative the commissioning will see 67 Australian composers paired with ANAM’s young musicians, many of whom are performing professionally at national and international levels. A particular aim of the commission is for composers and performers to form a collaborative partnership, resulting in the creation of a new work which will be premiered later this year.

Tim, who has established a national reputation as a composer of contemporary classical music, said that he is especially excited to be part of this commissioning.

‘A lot of artists had a difficult 2020. For me, the creative aspect was very still and quiet throughout the pandemic. There’s quite a bit of conscious and unconscious recalibration that can happen during circumstances like these. It’s going to be exciting to see the awakening of creativity with this new venture.’

As someone who works as both an educator – at Virtual School Victoria and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music – and a musician, Tim is especially looking forward to working with a young musician and help develop their creative potential.

‘This new music will come out of a conversation between myself and an emerging musician. Like many composers I often write music for particular performers who I know well; what’s unusual about this commissioning is that I will be paired with a musician I don’t know. It’s like going in blindfolded.

‘I’m expecting the unexpected – I’m not sure what my co-worker in this venture is looking for, so I guess we’ll find out together!’

Tim pointed out that the project is a fantastic professional development opportunity for both young musicians and composers.

‘I hope that through an experience such as this that these young, highly trained classical performers may also think of themselves as future commissioners and possibly even creators of new music. I feel privileged to have a career where I can connect teaching and creative practice and help younger musicians expand their creative lives.

‘The project is mutually beneficial. I’m looking forward to sharing ideas and finding out about new things through discussions with my collaborator. Hopefully we can also plan what life the piece could have beyond its premiere,’ he said.

‘Expanding the life-span of new contemporary music is challenging as many new works typically receive very few performances. But I’m hopeful these pieces will bring joy and comfort to people for many years. The Arts are critical in helping people recover from trauma and difficult situations. It is no coincidence that this initiative is a direct response to the ravaged year of 2020.’

Premieres of all 67 commissions in the ANAM Set will be realised in recitals later this year at Abbotsford Convent.

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