For his latest vocal work, composer Mark Isaacs decided to skip the poetics

Though I live in Sydney, I’ve had a string of Brisbane-based projects over the years and that suits me just fine. Late last year, a few days after the premiere of my First Symphony by the QSO, I attended a lovely meeting at the cafe of Queensland Performing Arts Centre with Tania Frazer, oboist and creative director with Southern Cross Soloists.

I was very happy to write for this distinguished ensemble, and the inclusion of soprano Margaret Schindler was an added dimension after eight years of writing purely instrumental works.

We settled on a short seven minute piece – a good contrast after a 30-minute symphony! The world of concert commissions (unlike film, TV and theatre) involves being handed a blank canvas, the length of the work and its instrumentation being the only dictated elements. The music’s style, mood, texture, structure and a million other components are entirely at the discretion of the composer. It’s always a luxuriously generous invitation (if rather daunting when the going is tough!) to be asked to do something hopefully beautiful and inspiring in whatever manner you want. What a blessing!

There were...