Melody Eötvös is an Australian composer whose work draws on both multi-media and traditional instrumental contexts, as well substantial extra-musical references including a broad range of philosophical topics and late 19th Century literature. Melody has received awards including the 3MBS National Composers Award, an APRA PDA, and the Soundstream National Composer Award. Her music has been performed by ensembles and orchestras such as the London Sinfonietta, BBC Singers, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Australian String Quartet. Melody has participated in several electronic music festivals including SEAMUS 2011, ACMC 2012, and ICMC 2011 and has composed for video games such as Avatar: The Last Air Bender. Melody is an alum of the American Composers Orchestra’s Underwood New Music Readings. Current projects include a comission by the League of American Orchestras, the EarShot Foundation premier at Carnegie Hall, and a commission for the Synergy 40×40 project.
Melody holds a Doctorate from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a MA from the Royal Academy of Music and is currently a composer fellow at the Aspen Music Festival & School.
Red Dirt | Silver Rain
This piece is first and foremost about connecting and reaching out to my homeland and childhood, because no matter how much I try to bring it closer both of these things are always going to feel so far away (in time, distance, and memory). Writing this piece was a way for me to acknowledge my past and nod my head to the beautiful expanse that is Australia, and wave a grateful hand at my past memories and a childhood full of music and barefoot outdoor adventures in the dirt and rain.
This piece was commissioned by the League of American Orchestras and American Composers Orchestra with the generous support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.
The title of this piece reaches back across the Pacific Ocean and into the heart of two memories I have of my homeland. As a child I grew up on Tamborine Mountain (Queensland) where the dirt is a vibrant volcanic red. I was more use to seeing my feet stained with this color than having them in shoes. The second memory is of the torrential downpours we would experience during the summers and of falling asleep to the sound of it pelting against the corrugated iron roof. The rhythm of these rain showers, in my recollection amplified by the material of the roof, would fluctuate between violent hammering and delicate pattering.
This piece is most of all about reconstructing memories. These memories hinge around strong sensory moments of my childhood and I have aimed to give them clear motivic/thematic life within the music. A wonderful phenomena that occurs in the recalling of memories is our ability to manipulate and alter the way we may have originally remembered these things – the way I remember my dirt red toes the very same evening I washed them clean (perhaps I was annoyed that they were still slightly stained red even though I’d scrubbed them for ages), will be completely different to how I remember them now (as symbolizing fun, freedom, color, warmth, childhood). So the trajectory of the motives/themes across this piece explore an array of possibilities and forms in how they can be remembered, recalled, and readjusted… sometimes more with the methodical mind of my adult-self, other times with what I imagine is my care-free inner child.