Ciaran Frame

composer/media artist/sound designer

Composer, Media Artist, Sound Designer

Hatched Academy Update

I’m currently working on a piece as part of Ensemble Offspring’s Hatched Academy - a chance for emerging composers and performers to undertake intensive work with professional musicians


Being an emerging composer in the very early days of developing my musical output and direction, oppurtunities like this are invaluable, and often few and far between. In many ways, the ‘experience paradox’ that people encounter when searching for jobs is even more extreme in new music. It is so vital to emerging composers such as myself to expose their work to different contexts, different places and difference performances, but so much of this is often out of reach of composers just starting out.


Opportunities afforded to emerging composers from the likes of organisations such as Ensemble Offspring allow composers such as myself to find places their enthusiasms and passions lie within music. As undergraduate students, we tended to botch a lot of things - putting together misshapen and dubiously curated concerts in front of small crowds, often for our own enjoyment. That luxury taught us indispensible skills in a wide variety of areas, but it is a luxury that quickly gives way to the realty of new music in Australia. Finding places to expand our output are essential, and so far my experiences in the hatched program have been crucial in my way to finding my voice in the big wide world of professional new music.


Following a period of creative brainstorming and finding my conceptual basis for the work, I’ve been working with composer Cathy Milliken. Cathy has brought a wealth of experience from a mind-boggling number of fields and perspectives, helping me work through elements of the work that I’ve been struggling with. In particular, we’ve been working on balance and virtuosity within the ensemble, and how I can effectively find a happy medium between my conceptual/technical goals and the actual notes on the page.


More recently, I’ve had the chance to workshop some drafts with some of the players, ironing out issues with notation, readability and general communication of articulation and tone colour goals. This immediate and indispensable feedback has really proved useful in the days following the workshop, allowing me to really fine tune the notation and concept based on the difficulties, and hopefully leading to a smoother rehearsal period - all of which will be revealed in the intensive weeks ahead!

Things that seemed like a good idea at the time...

Things that seemed like a good idea at the time...


Listeners as Spectators will be performed by Ensemble Offspring as part of a program of new works on the 27th September, 7pm at the Red Rattler.

Ensemble Offspring's Hatched Academy is generously supported by the APRA AMCOS Music Grants program and Rode Microphones.