Infinite Possibilities (Leah Curtis)

Program note

Black and white profile of Leah Curtis overlaid with flowers
Leah Curtis composes contemporary classical music, scores for international cinema and music for fine art installation.

Described as ‘groundbreaking’ and ‘deeply human’ (Limelight), her music explores lush, immersive textural worlds, weaving and anchoring nuanced orchestrations with glimmering solo threads.

Leah Curtis orchestrated for Heil, Klimek (Sophie Schöll) and Wurman (Something Borrowed), before taking the lead on her own commissions, including the ‘first-rate score’ (Variety) for Sundance thriller Killing Ground. Her music has been played at marquee festivals, including Dubai, Sundance and the Aspen Music Festival, and garnered nominations and awards for Best Original Score, Best Song and Best World Music.

Recent Australian highlights include performances of her score for To Rest in Peace by
the Canberra Symphony and the Australian Youth Orchestras (adapted for the concert hall), and the premiere of chamber work The Ground for the Southern Cross Soloists with didgeridoo collaborator Chris Williams.

Curtis has been a Fulbright Scholar (Los Angeles) and visiting composer at the University of Southern California. She holds a Master of Arts with Honours from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

Curtis grew up in Canberra, where she began composing. She now works internationally out of Los Angeles, writing, orchestrating and recording music for cinema and the concert hall.

Leah Curtis

A glint of light on the horizon. A first spot of rain. Clearing and creating space for something new, and a chance to reset at any moment. Possibility is an ever-present source. When poet Mary Oliver asks us ‘what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’ she invites us into the simple finitude of our existence, and the sheer gift of it. ‘Wild’ beckons courage, openness and movement, while ‘precious’ calls for nurturance, grounding and comfort, and the curation of our lives from the truly infinite possibilities that surround us. They both ask us to be present.

‘Wild’ beckons courage, openness and movement, while ‘precious’ calls for nurturance, grounding and comfort…

Leah Curtis

Writing Infinite Possibilities has extended me into new sound worlds. Exploring movement, embodiment, and what might emerge from the silence. It has grounded me and reminded me how things are brought to life with light, brilliant and glinting, and enlivened with colour, bold and lush, or through subtle shimmering shifts.

It has drawn me into imagining the distinctive virtuosity of each member of the orchestra, and to carefully curate and weave this into something emboldened and nuanced, intricate and whole. The growth required to embrace this can find you both daunted and exhilarated.

It has been an exploration of possibilities of where the work is enlivened, finding threads of connectivity, the nuance of gestures between players, and, in allowing it to unfold, finding the moments in which the music can transition into being a felt experience.

Author Lisa Olivera beautifully describes it: ‘I find possibility to be deeply comforting and supportive, to be igniting and energizing, to be softening and spacious…it is always available, always there when we choose to look, always waiting for us to let it carry us when our legs are giving out, always a way of being we can return to…it asks us to make space for magic, to make room for something beyond ourselves…’

© Leah Curtis

Llewellyn Four: Infinite Possibilities is presented by Shell Australia, a CSO Gold Partner

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