PhD research: Dual role of a composer‐performer

France – 11 July 2015: Lecture presentation
11:15-12pm – Cité de la Musique et de la Danse (Salle 19), Strasbourg Conservatoire.

Featuring my Saxophone Concerto Terra Obscura:

My Doctorate research is about the dual role of a composer‐performer
How does my composer-performer brain work?!

Composition and performance have played an equal role in forming my own musical identity and language – ma raison d’être! Fascination with the use of extended techniques to create distinct sound worlds have become an integral part of my compositional style in my saxophone works. To what extent my performance background and extended knowledge of the saxophone influences my compositional style when composing for my own instrument compared to non-familiar instrumentation is of particular interest.

My  thesis is about the dual role of a composer-performer:
(1) How the compositional role influences stylistic and interpretative decisions when performing other composers’ works.
(2) To what extent the extended knowledge of one’s own instrument influences the compositional style, method and decision-making when writing for non-familiar instrumentation.

More specifically, this research will examine the composer-performer’s intuitive conscious/subconscious decisions made during the creative process of transforming new Australian works for saxophone. Interviews with five Australian composer-performers will provide a unique insight into their own thoughts, approach and attitude when performing other composers’ works, as well as their own.

Through my research, I hope to identify if it is possible for a performing composer to separate the composer and performer role.


PhD in Composition (Research)
Sydney Conservatorium of Music

PhD supervisors

Professor Anna Reid

Professor Matthew Hindson

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