Katy Abbott: Re-Echo

Featured composer

Portrait of Katy Abbott against a timber wall
Katy Abbott, Australian composer (Image: Pia Johnson)
Composer Katy Abbott is forensically curious about what makes us tick.

Her music explores our passions, fears and motivations using contemporary musical flavours in traditional musical settings.

Musing on the concepts of connection, place and humour, Abbott’s compositions are performed, published and recorded around the world.

Abbott has five solo albums of her work on ABC Classics and MOVE Records and her two orchestral works for education programs (The Peasant Prince and Introduced Species) are frequently programmed by the major Australian symphony orchestras. Her brass, piano and chamber works are being programmed increasingly in North and South America in festivals and orchestral settings such as Music Academy of the West, Des Moines Symphony Orchestra as well as many University Brass Faculties across the USA.

Awards including the Boston Metro Opera ‘Gold Prize’ for Art Song, Australia Council of the Arts Fellowship (Music), Paul Lowin Prize (song-cycle) and the Albert H. Maggs Prize for Composition.

Abbott is Senior Lecturer in Composition at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and created The Artists’ Mentor which supports mid-career and established artists across disciplines to build long-term, vibrant practices with impact and meaning.

[blockquote author=”French philospher Wilfred Thesiger, on his journey through The Empty Quarter, the largest desert on earth”]

It was very still, with the silence which we have driven from our world


Katy Abbott (b. 1971)

Re-Echo for vibraphone and cello was written for Claire Edwardes and Julian Smiles. This work is a re-imagining of another work, The Empty Quarter, by Katy Abbott: a region in Saudi Arabia (that borders the UAE, where she was living at the time).

Although elements of the work hint at the desolate, isolated geographical area, (which incidentally inhabits some of the world’s most formidable sand-dunes), it also contains other, emotionally ‘empty’ aspects, such as separation from country and family/friends.

© Katy Abbott

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