28 April 2010

Hollywood is knocking on the door and about to enter the realms of an Australianversionof the blockbuster project.

When revered jazz educator and conductor William Motzing teams up with Australian-born and American-based composer Tim Davies on 5 May for "The Biggest Band Concert," it will be a film and television conjunction as well as a world premiere music confection.

The ageless Motzing, who will conduct Davies' new work Conceivilization as part of the ISCM World New Music Days festival at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, is recognized as one of the world's best soundtrack conductors.

The American by birth but longtime Australian citizen has over the years run-up an impressive set of tinsel town credits, including arrangements for Oscar Award ceremonies, composer for films such as Newsfront, Young Einstein, The Quiet American, Coca-Cola Kid, and co-arranger for the theme song of The Simpsons TV series.

He has been conducting The Con's Big Band for over a decade and the May 5 concert will see him lead a performance that will take its place in the steadily growing pantheon of commissioned works for the innovative 101 Compositions for 100 Years project.

The project, championed by the Dean and Principal of The Con, Professor Kim Walker, and the founder of Ars Musica Australis, Father Arthur Bridge, aims to generate 101 new works nationally and internationally to help celebrate The Con's centenary in 2015.

Davies, arranger, orchestrator and conductor for commercial music, has credits for the scores and arrangements straddling hit TV shows such as Sex in the City and Glee, and movies When a Stranger Calls and The Pathfinder.

Nominated for a Grammy Award this year for his big band composition Counting to Infinity, he recently conducted orchestrations for the films Hot Tub Time Machine and Date Movie, as well as orchestrations for the high-rating TV series Despicable Me and House.

Davies, who formed his first big band in Melbourne in 1998, is also a major orchestrator and conductor for video games. His latest music score was for Disney Company's new game Pirates of the Caribbean.

A drummer when he isn't conducting and arranging, his debut album Epic was seen as a breakthrough in big band sounds, combining as it does hip hop themes as well as heavy metal riffs.

Davies coined the term "Symphonic Sound Design" to help describe his textural/ambient music. Although highly regarded for his string writing, his most sought after works are for percussion, including The Art of Turning Ice to Water - a tribute to trying too hard to make magaritas.

Professor Walker said the combination of two stellar artists in the world of big bands was a "major coup" and would add immensely to the breadth and scope of the World New Music Days festival.

"Bill Motzing is one of our most cherished staff members. He inspires us all with his knowledge of and empathy for this style of jazz, and what a corker that Tim - who has previously worked with Bill on masterclasses - has become a leader in the field and will be with us for what will be an amazing concert," she said.

The Con is a presenting partner of the World New Music Days festival along with the Aurora New Music, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts centre, Blacktown Arts Centre and Riverside Theatres.

It is the first time in the 88 year history of the festival that it has been held in the Southern Hemisphere.

Running from 30 April to 9 May, it is the largest music event of its type in the world, embracing 24 concerts and 82 works from 52 countries, including 120 Australian and world premieres,10 sound installations and 14 Radiophonic works.

Davies was recently quoted as commenting: "I submitted pieces to ISCM for years and never made it. Now I have a piece on their program and I get paid for it, that is cool."

Dr Matthew Hindson, the Artistic Director of the festival and Chair of the Arts Music Unit at The Con, said: "We would like to think that the broad variety of performances will provide a snapshot of the way music will be developing over the next 20 years."

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

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