MUSIC PANEL MEMBERS
Dr Matthew Hindson AM (Chair), NSW
Dr Matthew Hindson AM is a composer and Senior Lecturer in Composition & Media Technology and Arts Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. His research interests include Australian music, music for video games (particularly for the Nintendo Entertainment System) and musical composition with Apple’s GarageBand. Matthew studied composition at the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne with Peter Sculthorpe, Eric Gross, Brenton Broadstock and Ross Edwards and his compositional influences range from classicism to the heavy metal band Metallica.
One of the most distinctive composers of his generation, Hindson’s pieces are performed regularly both nationally and internationally. He has worked in close collaboration with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Youth Orchestra; has been featured extensively by Musica Viva Australia, the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in Wales and Ballett Schindowski in Germany; and was the Queensland Orchestra's Composer in Residence for 2005. He has co-authored a composition text for senior high school and early tertiary music students called Composition Toolbox, and is Artistic Director of the Aurora Festival of New Music.
Nicky Bomba, VIC
Nicky Bomba is a highly respected percussionist, band leader, singer-songwriter, producer, label manager and teacher. Nicky has worked with bands from Africa to the Middle East and has expertise in the areas of reggae, ska and mento. He has travelled extensively, immersing himself in the music and culture of places such as Ethiopia, Morocco, Jamaica, Europe and his birthplace Malta. These influences are evident in his music, whether as a solo artist, as part of groups including the John Butler Trio, Bomba and Bustamento, or through his role as band leader for the Melbourne Ska Orchestra.
Deborah Conway, VIC
Deborah Conway is a celebrated singer, songwriter and guitarist who has been fascinating audiences for the past 30 years. Her career began in the early 1980’s as front-person with Do Re Mi, who had a hit single with ‘Man Overboard’. Her debut solo album String of Pearls was released in 1991, and won Best Female Performer at the 1992 ARIA awards. Deborah has since released nine albums, including her most recent release Half Man Half Woman in 2010 with long time collaborator Willy Zygier.
Over the years Deborah Conway has pursued a career of activities outside her core role of writing and performing her songs, including appearance in film and theatre productions. She continues to be a role model for young women and a mentor to emerging artists, and from 2005-07 organised Broad, a concert series comprising five female singer-songwriters from vastly different genres. Deborah was the Artistic Director of the Queensland Music Festival in 2009 and 2011, and is part of the Victorian Music Council.
Lawrence English, QLD
Lawrence English is a media artist, composer and curator based in Brisbane, Australia. Working across a broad range of aesthetic investigations, English’s work is eclectic and characterises a long-term exploration into various themes including audio/visual environments, found sound/vision, subtle transformation of public space and sonic art works that exist at the very edge of perception. English utilises a variety of approaches including live performance, installation and found sound/vision. Published widely on respected imprints including Touch, 12K and Winds Measure, English's work is sculpted and overwhelmingly intricate. Lawrence also curates the influential ROOM40 imprint and organises numerous events.
Kath Letch, NSW
Kath Letch is the current General Manager of Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), and has worked in voluntary and paid capacities in community broadcasting on a local and national level for over 20 years. After growing up in bayside Melbourne, she moved to Perth in her twenties to work in education and became involved in the early days of community radio there. She began broadcasting on 6UVS, and became Station Manager when the station returned to the airwaves as 6RTR in 1991. Under fourteen years of Kath’s management, Melbourne’s 3RRR was transformed from a fragile station with a dedicated audience into a robust multimedia beacon for independent and alternative views and music. Kath has worked on numerous national bodies including the CBAA National Committee as President for four years, the AMRAP advisory committee, and the Digital Radio Consultative Committee.
Johannes Luebbers, WA
Johannes Luebbers is a jazz pianist and composer, but has worked in a variety of styles including classical and contemporary music, particularly as an arranger. In 2007 he formed the Johannes Luebbers Dectet as a vehicle for his own compositions and has since become one of Perth’s most interesting and exciting jazz ensembles, picking up a nomination for Best Jazz Act at the 2009 WAMi Awards. Johannes has won numerous awards for his work, including the Best Australian Jazz Song of the Year at the 2009 Jazz Bell Awards, and was awarded the 2009 Youth Arts West Australian Citizen of the Year. In addition to his composing, arranging and performance commitments Johannes lectures in Jazz Arranging and Aural at the WA Academy of Performing Arts.
Shellie Morris, NT
Shellie Morris is an Indigenous Darwin-based singer-songwriter, as well as a member of The Black Arm Band, which is a collection of some of Australia's premier Indigenous musicians. As a solo artist she has released two albums, and her performance highlights include WomadUK, WomAdelaide, the Closing Ceremony of the Arafura Games in Darwin, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Melbourne Festival's Seven Songs to Leave Behind. She has shared the bill with touring artists including Yothu Yindi, Neil Murray, Sinead O'Connor, Meshel Ndegeocello, Rickie Lee Jones, Grinspoon, You Am I, Tiddas, Jimmy Little and Magic Dirt. She was nominated for a Deadly Award for best female artist in 2011, and received a Playing Australia grant to tour her musical Shellie's Story across metropolitan, regional and remote destinations. Shellie also works with Indigenous communities and youth throughout Australia as an Ambassador for The Fred Hollows Foundation, helping young people to write music about their experiences.
Gabriella Smart, SA
Gabriella Smart is a concert pianist, festival director, and lecturer in Piano at Elder Conservatorium. She was the recipient of a Helpmann Award in 2009 for Best Chamber and Instrumental Music Concert, based on her performance and curation of Ecstatic Dances for the 2008 OzAsia Festival in presentation with Soundstream Ensemble and the Adelaide Festival Centre. She has performed widely throughout Australia and overseas, including the Melbourne Festival, Adelaide Festival, Ten Days on the Island Festival, Mona Foma and the Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival, as well as international performances at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, the Forbidden Palace in Beijing and in the Lanxin Theatre in Shanghai.
Gabriella is a passionate exponent of contemporary music and founded the Soundstream Contemporary Music Ensemble in 1996, touring nationally and premiering works by international and Australian composers including works by composers Michael Nyman, Tan Dun, Carl Vine, Roger Smalley and Andrew Ford. She is Artistic Director of the Soundstream: Adelaide New Music Festival.