Composers & WorksBen Robinson

Stepping Out
for violin & piano
Composed for Lynda Latu
First performance: 9 Dec 2021

Performed at the ANAM Set Festival by
Lynda Latu (violin) and Peter de Jager (piano)

The ANAM Set · Ben Robinson's ‘Stepping Out’ performed by Lynda Latu | The ANAM Set

Program note:
Stepping Out is about finding independence, being bold, and taking the risk of responsibility. I’ve recently been recognising my decision to move away from the safety of my family and home in Port Macquarie to pursue a compositional career in Sydney; it’s a scary and wonderfully exciting journey to step into the unknown and find your own path. This piece is my first substantial commission without the support of a mentor guiding me throughout the process, and it’s a similarly challenging experience to lose the safety net of supervision and take on the responsibility of answering questions like: is this good? Is this my voice? Will my peers approve? Should I care if they don’t?

I’ve expressed these ideas by capturing a relentless, raw and untamed youthful energy throughout the work. While the rhythmic drive is often surging forward, the unpredictable nature of the harmonic and melodic direction creates a sense of uncertainty. This chaotic unfolding illustrates the lack of guidance at this stage in life, followed by a moment of deep reflection, and ultimately an acceptance of the journey ahead.

Dedicated to Patrick Baker, for his endless support through every step of my musical development.

About the composer:
Ben Robinson is a promising young composer and graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he was awarded the Raymond Hanson Memorial Prize for excellence in composition. Under the guidance of his tutors Paul Stanhope, Ben Carey and Michael Smetanin, Ben has developed a passion for chamber music and a style that is rich in rhythmic excitement. Ben’s works create an engaging musical trajectory from start to finish, and his agile and colourful compositions appeal to a wide audience of listeners both with and without a classical education. Despite the effects of the global pandemic, last year Ben was commissioned by Sydney's vibrant young orchestra Ensemble Apex, the Sydney Opera House, new-music collective Konzertprojekt, and the Port Macquarie Hastings Choristers. In addition to The ANAM Set, in 2021 Ben has been commissioned by flautist Emilia Antcliff to write a new work for flute and electronics, and has been accepted into Ensemble Offspring’s 2021 'Hatched Academy’ composer development program and the Australian Youth Orchestra's composition program. Ben has been the winner of Ensemble Apex’s Call-For-Scores, the winner of AMEB NSW’s Centenary Fanfare Competition, and placed second in Arcadia Winds’ Wind Quintet Competition. His music has been performed in Sydney festivals including Vivid and Extended Play, as well as internationally, including the U.S., the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, and the Asia Saxophone Congress in Shanghai.

“Ben’s dedication and love for music speaks strongly with every note he writes.” - Sam Weller (Artistic Director, Ensemble Apex)

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