Kate Moore Music

Composer Sound Art Music

Piano Concerto (May 2019)

Piano Concerto

Kate Moore

May 2019

Interview for Limelight Magazine with Angus McPherson 

What was your way in to this piece?

The piano concerto came to me in a burst of inspiration. I had been working on a piece that was going to be the concerto and then one morning I work up and felt a new piece waiting for me, hanging in the air. I knew that this was the right piece for Vivian and the orchestra. I scrapped the first version and wrote this new one almost entirely in one sitting. So vivid it was, it felt like I was observing a brightly coloured apparition waiting to be made real through music. This became basis of the piece. I know the pianist Vivian Choi very well for a very long time. We met at the age of 12 as high school students at Ravenswood. Vivian has been a close colleague ever since. In the build-up to the composition we undertook two pilgrimages together. The first being a journey between Florence and Assisi in Italy and the second being the west coast of Ireland to the Marian Shrine of Knock. These journeys informed both the Requiem and the Concerto, both of which were written for Vivian. Three big inspirations behind the piece were the intercession of Saints and Angels in times of need or change, Dante’s Divine Comedy and Liszt’s compilation of piano suites entitled Years of Pilgrimage. These fit very well with themes I have been involved with for a long time including transcendence of the soul portrayed through a journey and the observance of nature along the way. In recent years I have worked extensively with Walt Whitman’s epic poem Songs of the Open Road which has featured prominently in my work and it falls well within realm of themes explored in this piece.


What do you find intriguing about Dante’s Breatrice?


Beatrice was a guide sent from the otherworld to show Dante the way back to the right path. In this journey Dante finds himself travelling through Hell, Purgatory and Paradiso. Beatrice was sent by Saint Lucia, who represents growing light from the winter solstice, representing the growth of knowledge and understanding. Dante had become lost and could no longer see the right path before him. He was confronted by three dangerous animals who blocked his way and he could no longer proceed. Beatrice is a mysterious character who represents balance and good council not unlike Lady Justice who wears a blindfold and holds balance scales and a sword. By showing Dante the fate of the souls, Dante is left to make up his own mind and come to his own conclusions. On our journey from Florence to Assisi we felt the presence of Dante, Beatrice and Santa Lucia, finding countless images, icons and resonances of their presence in churches and museums and this emphasised the nature of our pilgrimage as we travelled to the home of Saint Francis and Saint Clare.


What were some of the things you tried to keep in mind as your were composing this concerto?


The most important thing I kept in mind while writing the concerto was love for the music. When thinking too much about the complexity and technicalities of writing the piece and the responsibility writing for such a gifted soloist such as Vivian with such a wonderful orchestra, the task became daunting and overwhelming. It was easy for me to lose perspective. My way to write the piece was simply to enjoy making it and allowing the music to flow whilst maintaining a sense of awe and excitement for all the colours of the orchestra.


What are the challenges and pleasures of writing for these forces?


The biggest challenge for me is always about time, finding the perfect form before the sand slips through the hourglass of a deadline. The sense of knowing a piece is waiting and confronting the mountain of hours it takes in which to realise a composition that can be communicated to a crowd of other people can become terrifying. The only way to proceed is small steps, one after the other until it piece is complete. Composition is hard and lonely work but the rewards of hearing a performance of the piece live after months or years of imagining it, is tremendous and ecstatic, better than any material possession or gift.


Can you tell us a little about the titles of the Concerto’s movements?


The titles of the chapters in the music mark signs along found along the way of the pilgrimage that Dante may have observed but are not mentioned in the story. Small things found on the path that one could easily overlook such as the line of yellow flowers that follow a natural spring or the sun behind a veil of clouds that takes on the appearance of the moon or the gasping awe of the river that flows beneath a footbridge. Ariel, weighted with symbolism, represents a guiding spirit, one of revelation and a vision of the beauty and power of nature. Our Lady of Tears represents the empathetic spirit that draws the Journeyer back to the right path through forgiveness, loving kindness and a glorious vision for the future.


How would you describe the relationship between soloist and orchestra?


In this piece the orchestra emphasises the colour, shape and form of the soloist’s line like wings of a bird that let the soloist fly. The orchestra does not work against the soloist but in communion, where soloist and orchestra are working together to create a brightly coloured vision. The music is a portrait of the soloist and the colours of the orchestra are like the glistening glass mosaic of a gothic stained-glass window. The curvature of the music and the shadows and darkness of its landscape are highlighted by glistening translucent streaks of ruby, emerald, amber and sapphire.


How important is this commission for you and your career?


The notion of a career sits uncomfortably with the compulsion to write music. Pursuing music is a way of life rather than a career. This commission carved a path before me to be able to explore the depth and wealth of colours that the orchestra has to offer, a curiosity for the palette of sounds and the alchemy of orchestral combinations. To me writing for Willoughby Symphony allowed me to set foot upon an epic journey to another world where the music tells a story of landscapes, visions, colours and revelations. I wrote this piece as a gift for Vivian who has been an endless source of inspiration for me since the time we were children.

Saint Mary and the spider – Villa la Pietra

26 June 2018

Performance and installations – Saint Mary and the Spider

Taking place at Villa La Pietra – Florence


Broken Rosary
Homage to my Boots
Spel III
Saint John Song
Voiceworks II
Voiceworks I
Cassini Sculpture

10 May 2018 Music and Movement

19c7b245-9178-4c70-a015-b76c12f27ac1On May 10 violinist Joe Puglia, 2018 Zielsverwanten artist in residence, performed his program Music and Movement at The Muziekgebouw aan het Ij. For this performance Joe performed my major work “Synaesthesia Suite” for solo violin and automatic instrument, for which we adapted for the Fokker-Huygens organ which is housed in the Kleinezaal of the Muziekgebouw. It is one of the best kept secrets of the Muziekgebouw and is a treasured historical instrument designed by the physicist Fokker, featuring a tuning system of 31 tones. The piece was tuned for this temperament.




Gallop House residency and Perth Tour 2018

This residency and tour has been made possible with the kind and generous support of Fonds Podium Kunsten NL, National Trust WA, Bundanon Trust NSW, Feilman Foundation, WAAPA, UWA, TURA New Music

Composer Kate Moore was the recipient of the 2018 Gallop House Residency https://bundanon.com.au/residencies/prelude-composer-residence-program/prelude-2018-winners-announced/

20180408 GALL near neighbours AB (13).JPG Photo: Anne Brake – National Trust WA 2018

Gallop House residency

In 2018 Moore was selected to be composer in residence at Gallop House on the banks of the Swan River in Perth. During her period at the house she wrote an article for Tempo magazine entitled Porcelain and wrote a new work entitled Lucidity – Eyes of Hands for the Dordrecht Bach festival to be premiered on 21 June 2018. Her community involvement included giving lectures at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, University West Australia for both the composition departments and post-graduate research. She gave a radio presentation for the series Difficult Listening on RTRFM with presenter Michael Terren and a listening session of Sacred Environment at Highgate Continental hosted by Josten Myburgh. A substantial constituent of this tour was devoted to her collaboration with percussionist Louise Devenish, with whom she has a close working relationship. Devenish and Moore rehearsed Coral Speak (2016) which Devenish will be touring Australia in May, as well as sketching and workshopping percussion instruments and sampling material for Moore’s upcoming major work for Devenish entitled Bloodwood Series. Devenish performed Coral Speak at the UWA Day of Percussion and continues to perform this piece in major cities including Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.

Interview with Rosalind Appleby https://rosalindappleby.com/2018/03/26/celebrity-soft-spot-kate-moore/

Interview West-Australian post https://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-west-australian/20180203/282286730710356

Gallop House Residency announced Limelight https://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/news/2018-prelude-composer-residencies-announced/

Bundanon Trust –  winners announced https://bundanon.com.au/residencies/prelude-composer-residence-program/prelude-2018-winners-announced/

5 April – Porcelain – lecture presentation – West Australian Academy of Performing Arts
Hosted by Lindsay Vickery

6 April – Homage to my Boots – Grey Wings – Intercurrent – performance and concert – Gallop House https://www.facebook.com/events/186227938642573/
Hosted by Lindsay Vickery and Josten Myburgh

Gallop House residency

7 April – Sacred Environment – Highgate Continental – Listening Session
Hosted by Josten Myburgh https://www.facebook.com/events/2346988032194152/

8 April – Homage to my Boots – Community day – National Trust – Performance and presentation
Hosted by Anne Brake and National Trust

8 April Radio interview: RTR FM 921 presented by Michael Terren – Difficult Listening

10 April – Porcelain – Post-graduate research seminar – University of west Australia – lecture and presentation http://www.music.uwa.edu.au/research/seminar-series
Hosted by Nicholas Bannen

25 April – workshop – with percussionist Louise Devenish for new work – University of West Australia


27 April – Porcelain and Sacred Environment – Post-graduate research seminar – West Australia Academy of performing arts
Hosted by Matt Styles

27 April – Improvisation – Tone List – Gallop House performance with Josten Myburgh, Eduardo Cossio and Rhanda Khamis


improvisation with Josten and Eduardo.jpg

28 April – Coral Speak – performed by Louise Devenish – Day of Percussion – University Western Australia – Lecture recital

Louise Devenish Coral Speak lecture.JPG

Preparation for Louise Devenish Australian tour of Music for percussion and electronics featuring my major work Coral Speak (2016):



Sacred Environment


24 JUNE 2017


Sacred Environment – Journal

Recipient of the 2017 Matthijs Vermeulen Award for The Dam

Recipient of the 2017 Matthijs Vermeulen Award for composition for her work The Dam


“The Dam is based on the rhythms of the sounds made by cicadas, crickets, frogs, birds, flies, spiders and other creatures that inhabit a waterhole in the bush,” says Moore in her program notes about the composition. “Far away from human intervention, their evening song becomes a great choir joyously singing out into the vast universe. It is possible from far away to hear where the waterhole is without being able to see it and it is also possible to hear the shape of the landscape around it as many tiny creatures create a sonic pointillistic landscape. I am attracted to the almost but not quite polyrhythmic tapestry of sound they create.” (Kate Moore 2015)

24 June 2017 | Sacred Environment | Holland Festival Proms | Concertgebouw


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oratorio and libretto by Kate Moore

Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

Groot Omroepkoor

Conducted by Brad Lubman

Soprano: Alex Oomens

Didgeridu: Lies Beijerinck

VR performer: Esther Mugambi

VR Installation: Ruben van Leer

Sound: Clare Gallagher