Featured Composer: Andrew Batt-Rawden


Andrew Batt-Rawden (b 1984) is a composer with a background in directing and producing contemporary-classical/art-music.

His compositions are mostly for chamber ensembles, electro-acoustic or acoustic, and vary in length (4 mins to 50 mins). He has written for the concert hall, theatre and dance. His harmonic and rhythmic language is informed by his study of 20th and 21st century western classical composition as well as by producing many works (over 120 so far) by his colleagues. 

He he co-founded Chronology Arts Ltd in 2007 with fellow composer Alex Pozniak after completing his B(mus) composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, (graduating with 1st Class Honours). Andrew's compositional activities have mainly been linked to the productions of Chronology Arts, including chamber music performances in Sydney Opera House, Carriage Works, Sydney Conservatorium, festival appearances in Sydney Fringe, Mardi Gras, ISCM and Aurora Festival. 

He has studied composition with James Coyle, Nigel Butterley, Damien Ricketson, Michael Smetanin and Matthew Hindson.

He has conducted many concerts of new art music by emerging Australian composers for Chronology Arts, of various instrumentations and arrangements, as well as produced, marketed and funded performances of new works. He has also occasionally performed (vocals and movement).

Andrew was the Artistic Director of Aurora New Music Inc (2011-2012) producing the 2012 Aurora Festival of Living Music. He was the Curator for the New Wave:Sound series at the Seymour Centre as part of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Vivid Festival. He has held arts management positions (The Song Company, Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School), has been a broadcaster on radio (Eastside.FM), has been on various boards, committees and selection panels, held short teaching positions at Riverview High School (Composition teacher) and University of Technology Sydney (lecturer in Professional Practice), guest lectureships with University of Sydney, and has been a mentor, consultant and advisor to numerous composers.

In 2013 his first solo album "Seven Stations" was released by Hospital Hill. In 2013 he also became the proprietor of Limelight Magazine, Australia's only Classical Music and Arts magazine and continues to compose, direct, mentor and produce.

Andrew Batt-Rawden's new work Relentless City: Sydney was premiered in PLEXUS: Pulsations on 11 May 2016 at the Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre.

Relentless City: Sydney (2016)

I grew up in Sydney… I left for a while but I was drawn back for music and business. Money flows into and from its beating heart. I can't afford to live there, but I'm chained by debt and commitments - alas not a mortgage (I'll never afford one of those in Sydney!). Recently fines have been increased and new laws put in place for cyclists. Night owls aren't allowed to go out late anymore, I live in a nana-cum-big-brother state (even more-so than Singapore soon, I bet), with lock-out laws that personify favouritism and greed as the new Barangaroo casino conveniently has been left out of the zone where those laws apply. There's a sad little person who's decided everyone should be tucked in bed by 10pm, so they can get up and work their "good jobs earning good money" to "shell out" for their kids to negative gear the relentless machine later on.

This ugly political and economic backdrop stains an otherwise picturesque living dream - beautiful beaches, attractive suburbs, poly-cultural suburbs. The weather is beautiful, all year round.

Sydney is Relentless, or perhaps it is just my life that is. You win some, you lose some. As an owner/operator of small arts businesses, I've gotten by - by the skin of my teeth. I need to keep my eyes on the balls, keep all the plates spinning (or at least not breaking) 24 / 7. I've often thought Melbourne is more welcoming of local Australian artists… indeed, to be honest, I know it is. 

This work uses heart monitors to create tempi (sometimes multiple, sometimes just one) from the performers' live heartbeats. The work also uses live weather/time/date data from Sydney to affect electronic components. I'd like to thank Plexus for commissioning the work, Ben Hinchley for his technological help, Alexander Clayton for his engraving work, and Orlanda Bryars my agent. 

– Andrew Batt-Rawden