Works for strings :

1) Bowed : solo, solo + 1, string quartet, & string orchestra

2) Plucked : solo, solo + 1, duo, & trio


1) Bowed Strings : Solo

Three Strings : 3 related solos for 'cello, viola & violin.

2008/2013: 15 mins. 45 secs. approx.


All three works can be performed individually, or as a set of three in any sequence as determined by the performers.

i.   Thrust :  2008: 6 mins. 45 secs. approx. (violin solo)

ii.  Twitch : 2011 rev 2013: 5 mins. approx. ('cello solo)

iii. Torque : 2013: 4 mins. approx. (viola solo)


i. Thrust


2008: 6mins. 45 secs. approx.



to push or drive quickly or forcibly.

to force one's way.

a driving force or pressure.

a piercing movement made with or as if with a pointed weapon: a stab.

the thread or current of thought uniting or occuring in all the elements of a text or discourse.

the essence: the point..

Score Sample (PDF)


ii. Twitch


2011 rev. 2013: 5 mins. approx.



to move or cause to move in a spasmodic way.

to pull or draw something with a quick jerky movement.

to move (a part of the body) with a sudden motion.

to move convulsively.

Score Sample (PDF)


iii. Torque


2013: 4 mins. approx.



to cause to rotate ot twist.

a force or system of forces that tend to cause rotation.

the tendency of a force applied to an object to make it rotate about an axis.


Torque was premiered by Phoebe Green, at the Church of All Nations, Carlton on 21/02/2015, as part of the Arcko Symphonic Ensemble composer portrait concert "...Like a Maelstrom".

Score Sample (PDF)

chatting with Phoebe Green after the premiere

Photo : Zachary Johnston


Bowed Strings: Solo + 1 Coils...

viola, oboe.

2011: 4 mins. 30 secs. approx. Coils can be performed either as a standalone work, or as the first of six in Tortus.


“…the Drawling-master…taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.”

from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

“…Cogs and disks, inane mechanic whims,

And idle coils of jargon yet unspoken…”

from Sonnet : To Eva by Sylvia Plath. Coils was completed in January 2011 and is approx. 4 1/2 mins. long.

Score Sample (PDF)


String Quartet


string quartet.

2001 rev. 2011: 15 mins. approx.


proxima: Latin: from proximus = nearest, next, adjoining, close.


Proxima was premiered by the Silo String Quartet, at the Church of All Nations, Carlton on 21/02/2015, as part of the Arcko Symphonic Ensemble composer portrait concert "...Like a Maelstrom", and featured Aaron Barnden & Atilla Kuti (violins), Phoebe Green (viola) and Caerwen Martin (cello).

Score Sample (PDF)


(L to R) Aaron Barnden -- Atilla Kuti  -- Phoebe Green -- Caerwen Martin

Photos: Kevin English


String Orchestra

...floating in the void...

minimum 4,4,2,2,1.

1995 rev. 2005: 8 mins. 30 secs.


...floating in the void... is for String Orchestra: minimum forces of 4/4/2/2/1, divided as follows: 2+2/2+2/1+1/1+1/1

The ideal performance set-up would see a relatively small audience seated in a circle (preferably on the floor) facing inwards to where the conductor would be standing. The audience would in turn be encircled by the players, who would be spaced evenly in the following sequence: Vn1.a - Vn2.a - Va1 - Vc1 - Cb - Vc2 - Va2 - Vn2.b - Vn1.b

Lighting should be kept to the minimum required for performance, and the audience should be encouraged to listen to the performance with their eyes closed.

In circumstances where this is clearly not a practical possibility, the players should at least be spread in sequence as much as possible to at least partially convey the effect the ideal set-up would realise. In all such cases, the solitary Cb should be situated centre-front in relation to the audience.


"...I am now quite alone...

here floating in the void,

only dimly aware of existence,

a dimly existing awareness..."

            from Pioneers over c, by Peter Hammill.


...floating in the void... was premiered by the Arcko Symphonic Project at the Richmond Uniting Church, Melbourne, on 30/5/2009, under the direction of Timothy Phillips.

Score Sample (PDF)

Arcko Symphonic Project / Timothy Phillips. 


winding down

minimum 4,4,2,2,2.

2015: 11 mins. 30 secs.


winding down is for String Orchestra: minimum forces of 4/4/2/2/2, divided as follows:

2+2/2+2/1+1/1+1/1 +1 

The players should be spaced evenly in the following sequence: Cb1 - Vc1 - Va1 - Vn2.a - Vn1.a - Vn1.b - Vn2.b - Va2 - Vc2 - Cb2


“Cylinder teeth comb the signature tune

Audience breathless, my dance has resumed.

Prima ballerina only when wound…


…Pirouette until the lid's closed.


…the key to life is winding down

…out of breath, out of time…..


motionless………sans la musique”

                                   from Musique Box, lyrics by Madeleine McKenzie


“Sans musique la vie serait une erreur” 

                                  from Twilight of the Idols, by Friedrich Nietzsche


2) Plucked Strings : Solo

Agité II


1989: 5 mins. 30 secs.


Agité II is dedicated to Stephen Morey, who commissioned the work and premiered it in Melbourne on 9/8/1990. Its first European performance was given by Michael Hooper in York in May 2009.


(L to R) Stephen Morey -- Michael Hooper


Fret (Agité IV)


1992 rev. 2010: 5 mins. 25 secs.


Fret (Agité IV) takes its more individual title from both the obvious link with the instrument, and from the relationships between other meanings of the word itself and various aspects of the piece.


agitate, disturb, enrage, irritate, torment, vex;

adorn, diversify, variegate;

an interlaced angular design.

Fret (Agité IV) was commissioned by ELISION and premiered in Melbourne in October 1993 by Stefano Cardi, who also gave its European premiere in Chiaravalle, Italy, in January 1994.

Score Sample (PDF)

Stefano Cardi


Agité V


1998 rev. 2015: 5 mins. 45 secs.


Agité V - commissioned by Marshall McGuire in 1997 - was originally completed in 1998 and premiered in that form at the 1999 Sydney Spring Festival, where it shared the Marienberg Award for Most Outstanding New Australian Composition. Later revised, it belongs to a series of solos that are all somewhat disturbed in nature and explore some of the more aggressive characteristics of the instruments involved.

Score Sample (PDF)


Marshall McGuire


Akkord II


1997: 4 mins. 30 secs.


Akkord II was premiered by Norio Sato at the Melbourne International Festival in October 1998, with its European premiere featuring Gisbert Watty in Prato (Italy) in 2007.


Norio Sato

Akkord II is published in "Australian Guitar Miniatures" from Red House Editions. ISBN 0 9587342-3-2




2004: 6 mins. 15 secs. approx.


Semplice was premiered by Geoff Morris in Melbourne in November, 2008.

Geoffrey Morris


Plucked Strings : Solo + 1

...of two minds...

alto flute, guitar.

2008: 5 mins. 30 secs. approx.


...of two minds... was premiered by Carla Rees and David Black at All Saints Church, Oakleigh Park, London on 23/3/2009.


Carla Rees & David Black.

Photo: Derek Rees



guitar, percussion.

2001 rev. 2009: 6 mins. 50 secs.


Although performance without amplification is certainly permissible, the ideal performance set-up will provide amplification such that any audience member will - as far as possible [given budgetary considerations, availability of appropriate technology and physical space/venue limitations for any individual performance] - experience the piece as follows:

Guitar and Vibes:

quasi surround sound with the effect of frequency dependent panning from front to back [not left to right] through the range of 0° to 120°, [based on the understanding that centre stage/performer position = 0°, centre of space/position of ideal listener = 90°, and mid-point of rear wall of space = 180°] i.e. if an ascending scale covering the complete range of each instrument was to be played, the listener should feel the music gradually physically approach and ‘pass through’ to a point just behind them, i.e. over the shoulder, not to the back of the hall!


complete surround sound: the crotales should speak as if played inside the listener’s head!


Plucked Strings : Duo a yellow wood...

2 guitars.

2011: 5 mins. 45 secs. approx.


“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could…”

                                                        from The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.


Plucked Strings : Trio 

Three things

harp, guitar, mandolin.

2008 rev. 2016: 5 mins. 45 secs. approx.


"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth."

                                                                                        Siddhärtha Gautama.

Complete Score (PDF)

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