Listen to Lauren’s original composition submitted with her entry.

Lauren McCormick (Age 22, SA)

TO COUNTRY: Touch of earth

Lauren McCormick is an emerging composer from South Australia and current Masters candidate at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, focusing the composition of new works for children and young people. Throughout this project, she is composing suite of pedagogical piano works, a suite for string orchestra, and an original children’s ballet, Little Ida’s Flowers, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name.

In 2021, Lauren was one of five featured composers in the Omega Ensemble’s inaugural CoLAB: Composer Accelerator Program, for which she was commissioned to compose Pilgrimage to Patroclus, a ten-minute work for mixed chamber ensemble, which was premiered at the Sydney Opera House in December 2021.

Throughout her time as a composer, Lauren has also had works performed by the Australian String Quartet, the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, the Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra, and the Elder Conservatorium Brass Quintet, alongside various other soloists and small ensembles. Her studies as the Elder Conservatorium under composers such as Charles Bodman Rae, Anne Cawrse, and Graeme Koehne included a First-Class Honours award in Music Composition in addition to her undergraduate studies.

With a distinctly neo-Romantic style, Lauren enjoys writing music with a high level of compositional craft which is still accessible to general audiences, particularly through her love of melody and narratively-driven music.

Composition Inspiration: A Touch of the Earth

With my piece Touch of the Earth, I aim to pay homage to the unique beauty of the Australian landscape, as well as honour the richness and depth of the continuing relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have with Country as the Traditional Custodians of the land. Touch of the Earth presents a juxtaposition of distinctive percussive rhythms drawn from the natural sounds of Australian wildlife—the sound of birdsong and small creatures moving through the underbrush—with rich, romantic harmonies representing the love held for the Country.

Although this work is tonal, I avoided the use of distinctive cadences, with the absence of harmonic resolution at the conclusion of the piece implying that the musical narrative is not truly finished, just as the connection that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have with the land is continuous and without end.