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

Tanya Jones (Age 22, Qld)

TO COUNTRY: To Speak of Life

Tanya Jones is a Bachelor of Music (Honours) alumnus of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, having been guided in her composition journey by accomplished composers Gerard Brophy and Dr Gerardo Dirie. She is a versatile composer and arranger, enthusiastically contributing to a range of different projects from music for choreography, to film soundtracks, chamber ensembles, and new works for schools. Her holistic approach has enabled her to compose, perform, and enjoy a variety of music styles. Tanya maintains and develops her composition skills through writing for competitions and pursuing larger projects. Currently, she is working on composing an opera, a ballet, and a suite of new chamber ensemble works, and enjoys collaborating with local artists to bring projects to fruition. In between these composition projects, however, Tanya works toward completing her Master of Philosophy degree, specialising in the academic fields of diaspora studies and ethnomusicology. With Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees on the horizon, Tanya looks forward to establishing herself as a people-focussed composer with mastery over music with meaning.

Composition Inspiration

‘To Speak of Life’ draws on the beauty of Australian lands traditionally owned by the Yuggera, Turrbal, Yugarabul, Jagera, and Yugambeh peoples. The piece explores themes of belonging and life through sweeping orchestral colours, and speaks to past and present understandings of place and space that inform Australian sound, environmental, and societal ecologies.

I write with an appreciation for French impressionist music, particularly that of Satie, Debussy, and Boulanger, and approached ‘To Speak of Life’ with a goal to emulate the sweet wash of colour present in impressionist music. My piece draws on ‘Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun’ and the distinct way it smooths itself over bar lines without linearity or rigidity. Rather, ‘To Speak of Life’ creates an atmosphere designed to gently draw the audience’s attention and pull them into a modernised take on impressionist writing – all in the space of approximately 1 minute. It was important that no one instrument, or instrument family was highlighted above others, but that there was a balance between all involved. Above all, I wanted to create a piece that would speak of the life and beauty in both the music and in the world around it – the end goal being that the piece does not draw attention to itself, but To Country.