GARETH HUDSON, COMPOSER:
Gareth majored in composition and piano at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, graduating in 2002. In a multi-dimensional arts practice, including teaching and music production, he finds musical theatre writing of great joy, as storytelling is at the heart of all his compositions. He especially enjoys layering multiple vocal parts to drive character and plot. This began with The Shining Isle: A Rock Opera (librettist Nick Higginbotham) premiering in 2006 at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre. A show song won an ABC music award. He wrote songs for Nick’s 2010 Gilbert & Sullivan spoof, Mermaids of Mull, and won a 2009 City Of Newcastle Drama Award performing with Jon English in his musical Buskers & Angels.
In 2007 Gareth received a SPARK grant from the Australia Council (and Youth Arts Queensland) to work with film composer Art Phillips, initiating Between Worlds. Nick later rewrote the libretto with script editor Nick Parsons. After two development workshops (2014/16), directed by Jason Langley (musical director, Michael Tyack), he began composing the new score. New Musicals Australia selected BW for a 2015 ‘snapshot’ presentation to industry judges at the Hayes Theatre.
Storytelling also underlies Gareth’s commitment to compose, produce and perform music with Indigenous Australian music artists. He believes that genuine song-writing collaborations bring to life their unique stories and art. Artistic collaborations include Buddy Knox, The Last Kinection, Briggs (featuring Gurrumul), and Auriel Andrew. Highlights include:
• 'Buddy’s Blues' 2011 album won best blues vocal for Buddy's Got the Blues Again (Knox, Hudson & Higginbotham);
• “Best Producer” nomination for the 2008 Australian Blues Music Awards;
• “Best Producer” for the ABC Newcastle Music Awards (2008 & 2009);
• Festival performances with Buddy’s band (Sydney Blues Challenge Winner): Byron Bay Blues, Woodford Folk and Dreaming, Darling Harbour Jazz Fest, Blue Mts Blues & Roots;
• ‘Ghost Gums’ 2013 album produced for Auriel Andrew, the first successful Indigenous woman in country music;
• Music composed for Auriel’s signature song on the current ‘Buried Country Tour’—Ghost Gums—a tender childhood memory among the old folks on Chumvale Station, QLD (lyrics Andrew & Higginbotham).