The University of Melbourne
Random Reflections Program.pdf (289.56 kB)

Random Reflections: Guitar 1970

Download (289.56 kB)
Version 2 2023-12-21, 07:48
Version 1 2023-12-21, 05:20
posted on 2023-12-21, 07:48 authored by Ken MurrayKen Murray

Random Reflections: Guitar 1970

Thursday 13 October, 7.30pm, 2022, Hanson Dyer Hall

A concert of rarely performed, historically significant Australian music.

Curated by Ken Murray and performed by Melbourne Conservatorium of music staff and students

Full performance

Conference paper Presented on this repertoire in Dec 2020

Book chapter published:

Ken Murray, "Random Reflections:The Guitar Music of Ian Bonighton", in Australasian Music at Home and Abroad, ed. John Gabriel and Sarah Kirby, Australian Scholarly Press, 2023


1. Ian Bonighton (1942-1975) – Reflections II (1970) solo guitar

2. Ian Bonighton – Variations (1970) two guitars

3. Ian Bonighton – Reflections I (1970) 6 guitars and percussion

4. Keith Humble (1927-1995) - Arcade IV (1969) guitar and percussion

5. Helen Gifford (1935- )– Sonnet (1969) flute, guitar, harpsichord

6. Felix Werder (1922-2012) – Triphony (1969) flute, guitar and percussion

7. Julian Yu (1957- ) – Let me Sing Sonia’s Lullaby (1991) flute, guitar, viola and double-bass

8. Percy Grainger (1882-1961) – Random Round (1912-1914) mixed ensemble


Guitars: Sophie Marcheff, Ken Murray, Natalie Poloni, Alex Wilce,

Zixiao Wei, Luke Barson

Flute: Simone Maurer and Laila Engle

Viola: Phoebe Green

Double bass: Miranda Hill

Harpsichord: Donald Nicolson

Percussion: Brent Miller, Al Fane, Bridget Bourne

Conductor: Luke Barson

The inspiration for this concert came from finding a score of Ian Bonighton’s Variations for two guitars (1970) in the Grainger Museum in 2017 in preparations for an NMS concert in 2018 of music by Bonighton and Keith Humble. I then found that Bonighton had written two other pieces for guitar in 1970 and the scores had been donated to the Grainer Museum by the guitarist Robert Maxwell who worked with Bonighton on the piece Reflections I.

Composer and performer Keith Humble had returned from Europe determined to transform the state of new music in Australia and the Grainger Museum proved both inspiration and a venue for new music performances. Grainger himself provided an example of an Australian experimental trad in new music. Bonighton was Humble’s dedicated and talented student and later colleague. The Grainger Museum was an important venue for new music in the later 60s.

The growing interest in the classical guitar and the developing guitar society were keen to be aligned with recent developments in new music and commissioned 4 new pieces for a concert at the Moomba Music Festival titled Guitar 1970. Four of those pieces are included on this program.

The concert was also notable as being one of the first performances in Melbourne of guitar virtuoso Jochen Schubert who has recently arrived from Vienna and had a reputation for his performances of new music.

This program containss 4 works from this 1970 guitar society concert alongside a neglected work by Julian Yu, Percy Grainger's Random Round and other guitar works by Ian Bonighton which have not been played since the early 1970s.


Usage metrics

    7420 - Melbourne Conservatorium of Music



    Ref. manager