Bardju / Footprints (Brenda Gifford)

Program note

Portrait of Brenda Gifford standing outside in front of a tree and hedge
Brenda Gifford, Yuin composer (Image: Marissa McDowell)

Bardju is about the footsteps we each take…

Brenda Gifford is a contemporary classical composer and a Yuin woman.

A First Nations woman, her culture is the basis of her arts practice. Brenda works collaboratively, with an interest in using the medium of music to express her culture. Brenda is the 2022 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Resident and the 2022 First Nations Artist in Residence with the Australian Art Orchestra. In 2021, the Australian Art Orchestra premiered her composition Djiribawal (Four) at the Canberra International Music Festival; her work Return was performed at the Canberra International Music Festival in 2022 as part of The Bundian Way concert.

In 2020, Brenda was Ensemble Offspring’s inaugural First Nations Composer in Residence. She is currently working on a piece for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra; other notable commissions include Four Winds Festival, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Living Museums, Canberra International Music Festival and One Day in January.

In addition to composing, Brenda is a saxophonist. She has performed with Bart Willoughby, Kevin Hunt, the Black Arm Band, Mixed Relations and other artists and ensembles.

Brenda is a member of the Women in Composition Program at the University of Sydney Conservatorium of Music undertaking a master’s in composition. Her music is available via ABC Classic.


Arr. Jessica Wells

Bardju is about the footsteps we each take, and to tell us that we need to tread lightly on Mother Earth and take care of her.

© Brenda Gifford

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