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Tall Poppies

David Malone teaches guitar at the Tasmanian Conservatorium and is in demand as a recitalist. He encourages local composers to write for his instrument and this, his debut solo CD, is the result of his endeavours. This is a fresh and lively collection of music, showcasing Tasmania’s composers and giving Malone a chance to display his virtuosity.

Two of the composers here are guitarists: Graham Southwell Brown and John Lockwood each show their innate understanding of the rich colours of the instrument, and each have written works that imply an improvisatory style of playing. Maria Grenfell, who is Malone’s wife, has written a set of pieces inspired by cartoons of Michael Leunig, capturing the whimsical stories behind each cartoon, which are reproduced in the booklet. Her Di Primavera was inspired by a trip to Italy and the music of Monteverdi. Also harking back to earlier music, Russell Gilmour’s Fretsongs takes its inspiration from Bach and is consequently a largely contrapuntal work. In contrast Rae Marcellino’s Q takes its inspiration from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and is part of an ongoing project to write a series of enigmatic miniatures. Don Kay is arguably the elder statesman of composition in Tasmania, and his Dance Rondos are genial works that suit the guitar admirably. Combined with the stunning cover photograph by Tasmania’s most famous wilderness photographer, Peter Dombrovskis, this CD is a beautiful snapshot of Tasmanian music.

This CD was assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.