THE GLASSHOUSE ★ ★ ★ ★
Melbourne Recital Centre, November 23
A bored kid required to impersonate a cherub, the tender however sidetracked accept of mom and kid, and the permeating, visionary look of a leader astronomer: these are a few of the images by Victorian-era professional photographer Julia Margaret Cameron that motivated Melbourne author Nat Bartsch to make up The Glasshouse, the abundant fruit of the 2021 Merlyn Myer Music Commission. The biennial commission, called in honour of benefactor Dame Merlyn Myer, is among Australia’s wealthiest structure rewards supporting the work of ladies composers. Fittingly, The Glasshouse is a thoughtful expedition and
event of females’s imagination. ( The title mentions the area Cameron repurposed as a studio. )Utilizing 6 of Cameron’s haunting pictures from around the 1860s, Bartsch explores their highly predicted romanticism, finding and showing a range of feelings that consist of the hope, decision and whimsy of Cameron’s work. Incorporating herself on piano and electronic devices with the members of the Inventi Ensemble, Bartsch has actually developed a distinct
sound world through which her distinct mix of jazz and classical idioms is poignantly revealed. Balanced aspects originated from both jazz and minimalist designs are combined with free-wheeling tunes and fascinating harmonic shifts with far-off echoes of the similarity Vaughan Williams. Bartsch’s cautious layering and contrasting of streaming and fixed textures underpins the score. The best of The Glasshouse benefitted considerably from the dedicated advocacy of the Inventi Ensemble. Ben Opie’s plaintive solos on oboe and cor anglais were matched by magnificently shaped tunes from violinist Kyla Matsuura-Miller and violist Katie Yap, sensitively matched by Melissa Doecke on flute and Paul Zabrowarny on cello, along with Bartsch’s simple, collective manner. Permeated by an irrepressible optimism, this audio-visual bridge in between 2 ladies and 2 artforms and 2 periods is a mild yet interesting contribution to the Australian music of our time.