MLC’s Australian Music Day timeline website

Composer Damian Barbeler and web development company Firefly Interactive have combined to create an amazing new website to support MLC School’s Australian Music Day 2009.

The website works as an interactive, media-rich timeline of a compositional project
The website works as an interactive, media-rich timeline of a compositional project

MLC School, where I am composer-in-residence along with Damian and Director of Composition Dr Paul Stanhope, has a great tradition of supporting Australian contemporary music not only through its three on-staff composers but also through ongoing commissions of both young and established Australian composers and performances of Australian contemprary repertoire. In 2009, MLC School’s music department has been nominated as a finalist in the Classical Music Awards category of Outstanding Contribution by an Organisation.

MLC runs the Australian Music Day every year. It is open to students and teachers from around Australia, and many travel from regional NSW to Sydney to study with us annually. This year the day centres around a new piece by composer Andrew Schultz, Ether Etude. Students participating in the day study the work and its model piece, Beethoven’s final piano sonata (32, op. 111) and submit their own works to MLC. Some are selected and workshopped by professional players on the day, and Schultz’s work will also be given its premiere.

The new website designed by Damian Barbeler supports the learning that the students do before they come to Australian Music Day. It takes the form of an interactive timeline, in which Andrew Schultz documents the progression of his piece in the form of videos such as the one above, written blogs and drafts of the composition in PDF and MIDI format. In addition, Barbeler has added dozens of useful resources to help students get started with their compositions, such as tutorials to help them write for the provided instrumentalists, such as this one:

Whether or not students are participating in Australian Music Day in Sydney, the website is a wealth of great information and following the process of the composition by a great composer like Schultz is a fantastic insight into the compositional process. All of the resources are freely available at

Future iterations of the timeline will include retrospective documentations of 2008’s Genevieve Lacey project and my children’s opera, Kiravanu.

One response to “MLC’s Australian Music Day timeline website”

  1. Hi James, this website, and the whole Australian Music Day event, sounds extraordinary. How impressive to think of a school having three composers on-staff. Very hope-inspiring. I’m interested to read your blog (short though it is at this stage). It is one of the few music education/composition blogs I’ve come across. (Mine is another, of course. But it’s not the same as reading another person’s thoughts on similar topics and dilemmas). I’ll add you to my blogroll and look forward to reading more.

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