The Sky is Also Yours (Sally Greenaway)

Music is an ‘essential service’ for our mind, heart and soul. As each note unfolds, the journey salves and challenges our thoughts and feelings. And when we reach the final cadence, we are completely transformed.

Sally Greenaway, composer

Program note
The Sky Is Also Yours

As pandemic restrictions ease across Australia, composer Sally Greenaway reflects upon the last two years through her new work, The Sky is Also Yours.

Our shared monotony in distancing ourselves from the outside world was a collective Groundhog Day and may have felt at times like the walls were closing in. The fourth bassist has plucked pizzicato notes in a steady rhythm, as if taking one step at a time.

And just as the seasons change, the colours and fluctuations in our emotional state are mirrored by the complex harmonic changes from the third and second bassists.

But through it all we have looked to the good nature of us all – a hopeful pathway to navigate forwards, together. The first bassist is nourishment and hope through sound, with a lyrical and poignant melody that breathes our revitalisation.

A quartet of double basses is capable of great power and depth. But they are also capable of extremely beautiful, almost heavenly sounds that whisper soft, singing directly to our hearts. And as spring erupts into greens and yellows and scent fills the air, and we carefully dare to enter the world again, we can all look up and enjoy the vastness of the blue by day and the stars at night: the sky is also yours.

© Sally Greenaway, 2021

Sally Greenaway
Sally Greenaway, composer (Image: Ivor Hind, body artwork by Anne Hind)

Sally Greenaway is a multi-award-winning Australian composer hailing from Canberra. Her music spans a multiplicity of styles and genres including classical solo, chamber and orchestral works; jazz ensembles and big bands; and film, documentary and advertising soundtracks. Greenaway specialised in jazz piano at the Australian National University (ANU) School of Music before continuing studies at the Royal College of Music in London, where she received the Lucy Anne Jones award.

Greenaway has worked with leading Australian soloists, ensembles and arts organisations, including Musica Viva, the Melbourne and Canberra symphony orchestras, Melbourne Recital Centre in conjunction with the Myer Foundation, the RMC Big Band, Trichotomy, Muses Trio and PLEXUS, as well as school and community groups including Woden Valley Youth Choir and Canberra Grammar School.

Accolades include an APRA-AMC Art Music Award (2017), two Canberra Critics Circle Awards (2015, 2017), the Merlyn Myer Composing Women’s Award (2015) and the Canberra International Music Festival’s Young Composer Award (2009).

Greenaway has lectured at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Canberra Institute of Technology Music Industry Centre, and given guest lectures at Monash University, the ANU and the Royal College of Music in London. In her spare time, she dabbles in historic keyboard instruments including the harpsichord and clavichord.

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