Now here’s something you don’t see often enough – a concert of almost entirely newly commissioned music.  When COVID-19 first hit Australia at the start of the year, choirs were considered a liability, given the mechanics of a large number of people singing. So, it’s a definite sign of things returning to something like normal with the resumption of choral performances.

After the pause on choral performances, The Australian Voices commissioned 22 composers(“ mostlyAustralian” they point out) to write a choral work on the theme “far and near”. The description came with a dark note, stating “in response to dark concert halls around the world, we are connecting to composers. Yes, these pieces will be performed one day – we don’t know when”.

The Australian Voices

Well, that day has finally come. This concert, held in the tucked-away St Patrick’s Church in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, had the premieres of nine of the 22 pieces commissioned. I knew a few of the names (Nico Muhly, occasional indie-rock collaborator and all-around multifaceted musician, is probably the most well-known), but there were also several...