Composer, arranger and saxophonist Rafael Karlen has been awarded the 2018 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composer-In-Residence.

Rafael KarlenRafael Karlen. Photograph © David Collins

The residency allows an Australian composer to live for a year in a three-bedroom terrace in Sydney’s Paddington area, which was bequeathed by renowned Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks, so that they can immerse themselves in their practice. The winner is selected from a competitive annual application process. Previous winners include Barney McAll, Cat Hope and Jon Rose.

Karlen said he was extremely grateful for the opportunity, which would allow him to focus purely on music. “During my time in the house, I intend to digest, consider, and explore music, uninterrupted by the noise of day to day life. This will allow for new ideas to feed into my original work,” he said.

“Living in this stimulating space is conducive to pursuing my musical practice with a higher level of intensity and examining aspects of my professional identity. I hope to develop a more honest and sincere approach to structuring my creative projects.”

Whilst in residence Karlen plans to work on a range of acoustic projects that cross jazz and classical music as well as traditional music from Tibet. His first project combines piano and saxophone with cello and violin. The Winston Churchill Fellow will also use the opportunity to focus on developing a new work for the Brisbane International Jazz Festival to be premiered in June, as well as a new composition for the Queensland-based 20-voice ensemble Australian Voices.

During his residency, he plans to open Glanville-Hicks’ living room for a small number of intimate musical evenings. The series will open on Monday April 16 when  British/Indian musician Supriya Nagarajan will explore the effect of lullabies on the brain.

Head of the Arts Programs at Bundanon Trust, John Baylis said: “Peggy’s residence has become a part of Prelude, a national network of residencies for Australian composers, housed in historic buildings and providing time and space to create new work. We congratulate Rafael on being the 2018 Peggy Glanville-Hick resident composer.”

A collaboration between the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composers Trust, National Trust of Western Australia, National Trust of South Australia, National Trusts of Australia, APRA AMCOS, Arts South Australia, The Helpmann Academy and Bundanon Trust, Prelude is assisted by the Australian government through the Australia Council for the Arts.