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eve duncan

eve portrait
Photo: Daniel Smith & Justin Bernhaut
RMIT Photography Student

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Artist Statement
Behind the material work one senses a deeper world of inspiration, mathematics, spiritual beings, living physical and psychological archetypes; a living, breathing reality of invisibility. Contemporary music composition is the means by which I swim through this sea of complex activity, trying to understand what influences human, animal and mineral evolution.

My music is architecturally conceived; however I allow the individuality of specific musicians to strongly influence melody, rhythm, harmonic motion and texture: they are a huge and rich living resource!



from the CD
Recorded Messages: Violin
Composed by Eve Duncan

Thrones 1992
Performed by
Kaixiang Li

Cherubim 1998
Performed by
Helfried Fister
Spiritus Solaris 1994
Live recording
Saito String Quartet

I was very glad to be involved (with this project) because I’d been doing a lot of music outside Australia, or for musicians outside Australia, and I desperately felt an urge to really connect with something Australian again. But it’s turning out to be a very difficult project...difficult because it is a fairly intellectual proposition, and art isn’t always intellectual. Art can be very sense based, or very impulse based, and I feel that we all have to work on our thinking with this.

I think it is a very unusual project and quite subtle. It’s quite possible that there are processes a visual artist goes through similar to a composer that are extremely non-verbal and yet this is a very verbal area, Federation. I notice that the visual artists use shape a lot, and composers use shape as well, and yet what shape does Federation have?

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portrait of eve
Photo: Daniel Smith & Justin Bernhaut
RMIT Photography Student

portrait of eve
Photo: Daniel Smith & Justin Bernhaut
RMIT Photography Student

potrait of eve
Photo: Daniel Smith & Justin Bernhaut
RMIT Photography Student

Eve Duncan was born in Melbourne in 1956 and studied classical guitar with Jochen Schubert. She graduated with Honours in Music Composition in 1990 after working with Theodore Dollarhide and Keith Humble. She was awarded third prize in the International 1992 Modern Music Award for Composition, Vienna, for a work for solo violin.

Her chamber works have been performed in Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Transylvania. Romania, Moldova, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines. Her compositions have been selected for inclusion in the following festival:

    2000 International Meetings of New Music, Braila
    1999 ISCM World Music Days, Romania,
    1999 Asia Week, Yokohama, Japan
    1998 Melbourne International Festival, Australia
    1997 Tunungan Festival, Manila
    1995 Bangkok Music Festival
    1994 International Days of New Music, Moldova
    1994 Composing Women’s Festival, Melbourne, Australia
    1994 Summer Seminar for New Music, Vienna
Eve has been commissioned by Traiect Ensemble, Trio Kinetikon, Ensemble Troika, Carinya Strings, Ensemble Passacaglia Wien, the City of Port Phillip, Helfried Fister, Andrei Podlacha, ChiaHong Drapal Liao, Rupert Guenther, Stefan Feingold, Ralf Doering, Peter Neville, Tim Veldman and Danae O’Callaghan.

She was a founding member of the Melbourne Composers’ League, and has been their representative for the Asian Composers’ League from 1994. In relation to Asia she:

  • was a speaker at the ‘International Alliance for Women in Music’ seminar on Asia – Pacific women composers in 1997
  • was a jury member of the Asian Composers League’s Young Composer Prize in 1995; and the Irino Prize in 2000
  • received a medallion on behalf of Australian composers presented by the Mayor of Manila.
Light Up for string quartet, Not Yet for woodwinds and Where are you Now? for guitar duet are published by Redhouse Editions. Recorded Messages: Violin is her solo CD of string solo and chamber music on the Move label. Buddha Fantasy is recorded on the Mi Favorita! CD by Swiss guitarist Stefan Feingold.

Eve Duncan is music coordinator at the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School.

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