Jonathan Billingham - From Hidden Valleys (CD)

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TMJLB001

Jonathan Billingham is a composer of orchestral, choral and chamber music and a singer-songwriter of piano and vocal ballads. Born in 1986, Billingham grew up a few hours drive north of Sydney, in the Mid-North Coast town of Taree where he began his musical journey on violin, piano and voice at the age of four.

Billingham's music is essentially programmatic in style, often being associated with a story, poem, place, character or relationship. The evocative melodies, motifs and harmonies are used by Billingham to depict a musical representation of his various extra-musical subjects. The result is reminiscent in style of a film soundtrack or musical theatre score.

Billingham has written a diverse array of musical works. Recently performed compositions include, the wedding music Petrus Aemeliam Deamat and the highly emotive From Hidden Valleys to the Open Sea, for Chamber Ensemble. The Manning Winter Festival commissioned the latter work, which was premiered in June 2016.

In
 2014, Billingham’s output included Lhuvirion’s Theme for Orchestra, Linda’s Waltz for Piano as well as orchestral and choral arrangements of several well-known hymns, including Great is Thy Faithfulness.

Billingham’s A Promise, for double choir and piano, was performed in 2013 at the UNSW Festival of Carols.

In 2012, several of Billingham’s ballads and chamber works were performed at a major fundraising concert to support the work of The Leprosy Mission in Timor-Leste. This included the second performance of his Wind Quintet, The Passing Seasons.

Other performed works by Billingham include Servitude, for tenor, soprano, orchestra and choir, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (incidental music) and Good News, for choir and guitar, commissioned for a Christmas program in 2010.

Influences on Billingham’s music include sacred choral music, programmatic orchestral works from the Romantic Period, Impressionist music by Ravel and Debussy, works by English composers Ralph Vaughan Williams, John Rutter and William Walton and American composers Samuel Barber, Aaron Copeland and Ned Rorem.

Billingham's contemporary influences include legends of musical theatre such as Stephen Sondheim, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Film music composers Howard Shore, Michael Nyman, Harry Gregson-Williams, James Horner and John Williams have also had a strong effect on Billingham’s compositional style.

Billingham studied a Bachelor of Music at The University of New South Wales (2006-09) where he majored in Violin and Composition. Billingham was mentored in composition and orchestration under eminent Australian composer, Dr John Peterson, who was also a joint-supervisor with Dr Christine Logan for Billingham's thesis. His thesis titled, Contrast and Cohesion in Symphony No.5 Dark Side explored intricate transitions in the music of Melbourne composer, Brenton Broadstock. Billingham graduated from UNSW with 1st Class Honours.

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Tracklisting:

  1. From Hidden Valleys to the Open Sea for chamber orchestra 13'30

  2. In Every Room for violin, clarinet & piano 3'14

  3. A Midsummer Night's Dream Suite for chamber orchestra
    1. Athens and a wood near it 1'40
    2. The course of love never did run smooth 1'30
    3. Love-in idleness 3'13
    4. Puck 0'47
    5. Oberon and Titania 1'26
    6. Dark night 1'24
    7. O Bottom! Thou art changed! 1'02
    8. The fierce vexation of a dream 1'18
    9. So, good night unto you all 2'01

  4. The Passion Seasons for wind quintet
    1. Visions of Summer 4'41
    2. Losing Autumn 2'53
    3. Winter Dreams 3'44
    4. Finding Spring 4'58

  5. Lhuvirion's Theme for piano 3'12

  6. Linda's Waltz for piano 4'10

  7. Petrus Aemeliam Deamat for piano 4'46

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