The Melbourne-based composer Katy Abbott describes herself as being “forensically curious about what makes us tick”.  Using contemporary sounds in traditional formats, she explores the passions, fears and motivations that explore and explain the human condition.

The parts of her ‘trade-marked project’ Hidden Voices give voice to those who do not have voices, in public or in private.

Composer Katy Abbott at the end of the performance. Photograph © Peter Hislop

The first part of this project Do I Matter?(2017) was awarded the $15,000 Paul Lowin Prizein the song cycle category for 2019. Scored for six voices and mixed instrumental media, it was premiered in Adelaide as an ABC New Waves Podcast by The Song Company and Syzygy Ensemble and has now received several airings in live performance. The hour-long work, which the Lowin jury described as “an inclusive and interactive work for the audience”, sets to music the ‘hidden thoughts’ of women.

The second part of the project Return to Sender comprised settings of letters compiled by Julian Burnside who had invited people to write in support of...