The Hush Foundation’s latest commissioning and recording project, Collective Wisdom, saw six emerging and six established composers pair up to write music inspired by their time spent with young people with chronic illness and mental health challenges in children’s hospitals across Australia. The project has resulted in an album, recorded by the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s ACO Collective, directed by ACO’s Principal Violin Helena Rathbone, which will launch at events in Sydney and Melbourne. The composers commissioned are Matthew Hindson and Katia Beaugeais, Paul Stanhope and Natalie Nicolas, Stuart Greenbaum and Caerwen Martin, James Ledger and Olivia Davies, Elena Kats-Chernin and Rachel Bruerville, Maria Grenfell and Thomas Misson. Limelightspoke to Grenfell, composer, senior lecturer and Head of the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music, and Misson, a Hobart-based composer and pianist.

Thomas Misson and Maria Grenfell, Hush Foundation, Collective Wisdom Composers Thomas Misson and Maria Grenfell. Photo © Bridie Mackay

Maria Grenfell

Work:  Knitting Unicorns

What were your experiences at Royal Hobart Hospital?

When Tom and I visited the hospital we were given a list of the current pediatric patients by the ward manager, and we went to each room and spoke to the patients. Some were not up...