Corrina Bonshek | Composer and Artistic Director

Ahead of the performance, Song to The Earth Composer and Artistic Director Corrina Bonshek shared some insights into the work and her musical influences.

Song to the Earth is a kind of orchestral hymn to the natural world, what drew you to create this work?
I’d just moved to the Gold Coast from Sydney in search of a “tree change” and I was completely entranced by the bird calls in my neighbourhood, as well as those in rainforests nearby. I wanted to make a piece of music where audiences could luxuriate in beautiful nature sounds and classical music together, with enough musical space to contemplate both.

How have audiences reacted to the
work so far?
We’ve had beautiful feedback from audiences. Some say they can’t believe this experience isn’t done more, and that more music should be experienced “in the round”. I think it’s quite a novelty to stand next to the musicians within a string orchestra or gong orchestra and hear the sound from all around you.

Patrons are encouraged to move between and among the players during the concert. How  important is movement to experiencing the piece?
I love the idea of the audience going on a sound adventure and following the melodies or notes that catch their attention. The music does sound different depending upon where you stand. At times some players stop, which gives a natural prompt to go seek out another musician to listen to. One of my favourite spots to stand in the first part is in the centre surrounded by the cellos and violas. The sound is so lush there!

Thinking about all the incredible music and art that has been made throughout history, what are some favourites in your feed at the moment?
One of my current favourites is a gorgeous piece called Becoming Ocean by composer John Luther Adams. It is a recorded work involving three orchestras and you really feel like you are riding waves of sound. Another piece of music that I come back to time and time again is Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I love hearing how  performers today make it their own through bold choices of tempo and expression