I create music for singers, from pedagogical songs for beginners to bespoke pieces for stunning soloists to full length concert works.
My instincts as a singers’ composer have been honed over a lifetime of singing and working with singers as a teacher, director, composer and colleague. My musical homeland is folk music. The authenticity, simplicity and beauty of this music infuse every note of my writing.
I begin each project by finding and crafting words. I search not only for meaning, but sounds, rhythms, inflections, and the magic space between the said and the unsaid. Then, shaping music to these words is like creating a sculpture. Sometimes I build notes up, sometimes I carve away. Asking: is it as beautiful as possible for the singers and their listeners?
I was born at a turning point where we know vocal works need the voices of women creators. The profound truths of women’s lives - wild and rich and subtle - need to be told by women. So many of the old stories that are used for vocal works present women as passive hostages to fate, telling of how women suffer and die. I am interested in seeking out from our myths and ancient tales, the hinted at stories of women’s agency, struggles and victories - of how women live.
Please find my BIO here.
Easter 2019 setting of Psalm 22. Composed for and peformed at the Downtown Presbyterian Church Nashville.
SINGING THE DOTS
A free collection of songs, teaching notes and exercises for adult choirs to learn sightsinging together.
Song a Week by jodie
A blog of arrangements for choirs, musings and other resources.
AND IN THE CENTRE WE DANCE
A concert of sacred songs, recorded live August 2017 performed by the singers whose beautiful voices inspired each song.
The Tuatha De Danann
The ancient Gods of the Irish Celts were powerful, magical, passionate and fierce. Their stories are engrossing, sometimes uplifting, sometimes devastating and sometimes hilarious. This project began as Fire Songs - a song cycle composed for Australian coloratura soprano Bethany Hill, telling the story of the Goddess Brigid, and is now growing into a concert work, presenting an anthology of stories from the different characters of the Tuatha De Danann. Several pieces from Fire Songs were recently performed in New York by another stunning Australian soprano, Amber Evans.
Tonight. My wedding night. My wedding robes. Woven from the grass that grows on the hills. that grows on the hills. Tonight. My wedding night. My wedding wreath from the shamrocks and flowers that grow beneath my feet. My groom. A mighty king. The flame in his eyes burns with the fire of the night. And you. oh my people. Whose red blood has flowed down to the water deep in my wells. Tonight. Wine will flow. Tonight war will cease. When the daughter of Danu marries her enemy. The deep wounds will open. The water will clean. Tonight will begin with a dance.
Wine and cheese cantata
Inspired by the spirit of madrigals, I'm writing this work solely for the pleasure of friends making music together. Years of going to folk festivals where folkies jam together into the night has inspired me to write something in a similar spirit for classical singers. The orchestration is simply guitar chords, the work is for jamming. Wine, Cheese and Jam! It's a democratic piece - everyone has a solo. In turn each soloist sings an aria - and then returns to the company. I've kept the choruses simple, with a tidy baroque sensibility, so readers can easily read, and learners can learn quickly. This work should be sung whilst drinking wine and eating cheese.
You may be interested to know, the plot is based on a true story.