Large Ensemble

passer-by
(2019) for chamber orchestra and tape
co-written with Matthew Lomax

summer / summer
(2017) for saxophone, two voices, and ensemble

singular movement
(2016) for chamber orchestra

air & fantasy
(2016) for string orchestra

small circles
(2016) for solo clarinet and orchestra

Texture No. 1
(2016) for orchestra
WINNER – Percy Brier Memorial Prize 2016

beatings
(2015) for solo violin and orchestra

Chamber Symphony No. 1
(2015)

Largo for String Orchestra
(2014)

Chamber

String Quartet No. 3 “brittle constellations”
(2019)

nowhere moving
(2019) trio for bass clarinet, percussion, piano and electronics

dawn wail for the dead
(2018) elegy for soprano and string quartet

rippling musculature
(2018) duet for bass clarinet, violoncello and electronics

small, round, strangely furry, with spots, stripes and other patterns
(2018) trio for clarinet, violin and piano

gossamer
(2018) trio for violin, violoncello and piano

brief moments
(2018) miniatures for vibraphone and guitar

breaking, tearing
(2018) sextet for mixed ensemble

kensington cycle
(2018) collage for variable ensemble and electronics

tidal
(2017) for soprano, violin and piano

two-tap
(2016) for three guitars

heavy air
(2016) for marimba and violoncello

in black
(2016) trio for guitar, violin, and violoncello

parallel
(2016) duet for flute and viola

Music for Large Spaces
(2016) for two pianos
co-written with Ben Heim

movement to,
(2016) for string quartet

traces – Sonata for Violoncello and Piano No. 1
(2015)

vagaries
(2015) duet for flute and clarinet
co-written with Ben Heim

String Quartet No. 2 in E minor
(2015) WINNER – Australian New Works Award 2015

Dominus Illuminatio Mea – psalm 27
(2015) for SSATBB and string quartet

Scintilla
(2015) fanfare for brass, for two trumpets, two horns and trombone

Piano Quartet in B
(2014)

String Quartet No. 1 in D minor
(2014)

Solo Instrument

feeling more like
(2019) solo for viola da gamba and delays

in stars
(2018) rhapsody for violin and drones

stolen glances
(2017) moments for violoncello and electronics

too, the moon
(2017) fantasy for viola and electronics

etude in 2 parts
(2017) for piano

tarantism
(2016) suite for guitar

susurrus – Sonata for Solo Violin No. 1
(2015) also arranged for solo viola

3 adoxographies
(2014) for piano

 

Electroacoustic

nowhere moving
(2019) trio for bass clarinet, percussion, piano and electronics

passer-by
(2019) for chamber orchestra and tape
co-written with Matthew Lomax

feeling more like
(2019) solo for viola da gamba and delays

rippling musculature
(2018) duet for bass clarinet, violoncello and electronics

in stars
(2018) rhapsody for violin and drones

stolen glances
(2017) moments for violoncello and electronics

too, the moon
(2017) fantasy for viola and electronics

Vocal

dawn wail for the dead
(2018) elegy for soprano and string quartet

summer / summer
(2017) for saxophone, two voices, and ensemble

tidal
(2017) for soprano, violin and piano

Cold Companion – a song by itself
(2016) for voice and piano

From the one who knows you best
(2015) for SATB

Dominus Illuminatio Mea – psalm 27
(2015) for SSATBB and string quartet

Pastores in Regione – a motet for Christmas
(2014) for SSAATTBB

The Sicilia
(2014) for violin, flute and baritone

 

Mixed-Media & Concept-Concert

non-place
(2019) contemporary electroacoustic ballet, for dancers, chamber orchestra, electronics and visuals
co-written with Matthew Lomax

to the sky
(2017) a journey through the universe, for planetarium (with visuals), solo violin, triple string trio, surround-sound synthesizers and electronics
co-written with Thomas Green and Joshua Rivory

Illuminae
(2016) surround sound space opera, for strings, solo cello, synths, electronics, and voiceovers
co-written with Ben Heim

 

 

Upcoming Projects & Commissions

A bit of a sneak peak at some new works and commissions on the horizon . . . 

Geburtstag

Brilliant violinist and close friend of mine Flora Wong has put together the Geburtstag Project to commemorate the 10th birthday of her beautiful violin, handcrafted by Brisbane based luthier Helge Grawert. To celebrate, she has commissioned four young Australian composers to write a set of works for violin: MJ O'Neill, Chris Perren, Kezia Yap, and myself.

You can support the Geburtstag Project by donating to Flora’s Australian Cultural Fund campaign.

String Quartet No. 3

I'm very very VERY excited to be working on my next full-length string quartet, a three-way co-commission of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Mivos Quartet (New York) and Modulus Quartet (London). The Goldner String Quartet (Sydney) will give the world premiere at AFCM in 2019, followed by the American and European premieres later in 2019/2020. A huge thank you to the APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund for their support in commissioning this work.

Katie Noonan and the Australian String Quartet

I've been commissioned to write a new piece for Katie Noonan's upcoming album with the Australian String Quartet, presenting settings by Australian composers of the words of celebrated indigenous poet Oodergoo Noonucal.

 

Large Ensemble


 
passer-by.jpg

passer-by

/for chamber orchestra and tape/

for the Cat’s Cradle Collective
originally conceived as part of
non-place

co-written with Matthew Lomax

1.1(bcl).1.1 - 1.1.1.0 - perc. - piano - 2 vln. 1 vla. 1 vlc. 1 cb.
duration: 17'00"
2019

 

 

summer / summer

/for saxophone, two voices, and ensemble/

for Bang On A Can, Summer Music Festival 2017

1.1.1.0 - 1.1.1 - perc. - vib. - mar. - piano - alto sax. - 2 sopranos - 3 vln. 2 vla. 2 vlc. 1 cb.
duration: 6'00"
2017

Connor D'Netto Summer Summer
 
 
 

outside
warm breeze, soft grass, sun
it's strangely quiet, the heavy air
the birds are calling somewhere else
mother says close the windows
before the rain
but, the smell of it –
how could I?

outside the clouds are
soft, white, gentle
looking down on worlds below
from crowded spaces
passing by
the humming, dizzying, sleepless –
a million pieces of black glass
peaking into other places

inside
a small, well furnished room
overlooking crowded streets
warm tones, busy, bright
the distant din of social lives
unread books and paper piled high –
the room is rarely occupied
father says make sure you rest
but, there –
so much to see

outside
verdant, expansive fields
it's perfectly quiet, for once
feeling time, it moves too fast
slipping past
with every breath

outside the clouds are
flat, endless, grey
a backdrop to the worlds below
the sunsets aren't quite as vivid
peaking into crowded spaces
a bird is singing –
calling somewhere else

inside
a small unfurnished room
yet to be filled with books and papers
the humming, sleepless din silenced 
mother asks how is the weather –
it's raining softly

 
 

 

singular movement

/for chamber orchestra/

Singular Movement is an exploration of direction and development. Each section of the orchestra is set on its own trajectory – a singular direction and path for the development of its material. For some, it is the slow evolution from sustained drones to sharply agitated rhythm; for others, from back- to foreground; others texture and ephemera to structure. It is a slow, drawn out evolution; there are few points in the work where dramatic change occurs suddenly, however, over it length is traverses vastly contrasting textures and musical ideas.

commissioned by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

1.1.1.1 - 1.1.1.1 - timp. - vib. - harp - piano - 4 vln. 2 vla. 2 vlc. 1 cb.
duration: 9'30"
2016

 

 

air & fantasy

/for string orchestra/

Air & Fantasy was commissioned by the Camerata of St John's, Queensland's chamber orchestra, to take on their tour of south-west Queensland in August 2016. But first, I had the chance to visit Charleville with their concertmaster, Brendan Joyce.
Have a look at we got up to in this blog...

commissioned by the Camerata – Queensland's Chamber Orchestra, with the support of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation

duration: 7'00"
2016

 

 

small circles

/for solo clarinet and orchestra/

Small Circles is a single-movement concerto of sorts for clarinet and orchestra. In this, we see the relationship between the soloist and orchestra constantly changing. The usual relationship, of a soloist set against or accompanied by the force of the orchestra, is seen once the work is underway. However, to open we see the soloist as an acrobatic energy cutting across and circling around a more stable orchestral texture building towards an unknown goal. Later, the orchestra moves to a reactionary role as it is displaced by the soloist’s movement, and to end, the soloist provides a layer of delicate filigree as the orchestra takes the foreground, by which it is eventually subsumed.

2.2.0.2 – 3.2. – timp. – solo clarinet– strings
duration: 9'30"
2016

 

 

Texture No. 1

/for orchestra/

WINNER of the Percy Brier Memorial Prize 2016

Texture No. 1 is the first in an ongoing series of works for orchestra, each an exploration of a single texture.
Dense, vague, murky, voluminous; Layer upon layer of pattern, each obscuring the other; Unfolding, evolving, being shaped throughout.

 

3.2.2.2 – 4.3.2.1 – vib. – mar. – harp – strings
duration: 5'00"
2016

 

 

beatings

/for solo violin and orchestra/

1.1.1.1 – 1.1 – marimba – piano – solo violin – strings
duration: 12'00"
2015

 

 

Chamber Symphony No. 1


In 2015 I was invited to write a new work to be performed by the tutors of the Australian Youth Orchestra conducted by James Judd AM.

Chamber Symphony No. 1 represents a foray into textural orchestration, exploring the vast pallet of timbral colours this ensemble of soloists is capable of: subtle, vague, strangely warm sounds, heavy and dense, pulsing and repetitive, others thin and sparse, droning and flat, while some ecstatic and filled with great movement, forming from the hazed wash of sounds.

1.*1 (c.a).1.1 – 1.1.1.1 – mar. – harp – piano – 1.1.1.1.1
duration: 12'00"
2015

 
 

 

Largo for String Orchestra

 

An arrangement of the middle movement of my
String Quartet No. 1 in D minor
. . .
because who doesn’t want some more lush strings in their lives?

 

duration: 7'00"
2014

 

Chamber


 

string quartet no. 3
“brittle constellations”

String quartets are a bit of a thing.
They’ve been a recurring feature of my life.
Have a read about all that here.

SQ3 image.jpg
 

 
nowhere moving.jpg

nowhere moving

/trio for bass clarinet, percussion, piano and electronics/

The strange contrast of traveling yet not able to move your yourself, crammed into a busy carriage, a small seat, a traffic jam, a queue, in a sea of bodies, a blur of faceless individuals, nervous, tense, going through the motions . . .

nowhere moving is an uneasy mediation on some everyday  experiences of modern urban life. From the outset it sets up its mechanisms, constant processes, clicking, churning. The instrumentalists fall in, are tossed around, attempt to break into their own, work their way into somewhat grooves.

for the Cat’s Cradle Collective
originally conceived as part of
non-place

bass clarinet (+ woodblock), percussion (hi-hat, woodblock, snare drum, kick drum, vibraphone), piano (+ woodblock), electronics
duration: 15'00"
2019

 

 

rippling musculature

/duet for bass clarinet, violoncello and electronics/

rippling musculature was created for a collaboration between the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Arts, inviting composers to respond to the works in the RA Collection. In viewing the Collection, two things stood out most. Firstly were some of the RA’s darker past practices. When first established, as a tool for studying the human anatomy, the RA acquired the bodies of multiple criminals sentenced to death – these bodies were embalmed, studied as-is in great detail, then flayed of their skin to revel their flesh, studying the structure of their muscles – gory, macabre, strangely beguiling. Finally these bodies were cast to create plaster replicas, available to the Academy for permanent study, now housed in the basement of the Collection. A second striking part of the Collection is a series of studies and sketches by various artists looking at the sculptures and frescos of the great Michelangelo – unrefined yet full of craftsmanship, dark and full of energy.

Bridging these two disparate worlds is a sketch by Jacob Tintoretto, Study of Michelangelo’s Samson and the Philistines. The black chalk on light blue paper sketch is rough yet full of detail, capturing the curving form of “the rippling musculature on the back of the male figure,” (a phrase from the artwork’s description from which this piece takes its title) giving off a sense of power and intensity, yet the chalk’s coarseness expressing a roughness not found in Michelangelo’s sculpture.

Rippling-Musculature.gif

In rippling musculature, the bass clarinet and violoncello are set into intense athletic acrobatics – fast interlocking patterns, interwoven between instruments, bubbling over each other – sinuous lines weaving their way throughout – stripped bare of fineness and refinement yet wildly virtuosic – harsh, powerful, bold, abrasive.

for the Royal Academy of Arts

duration: 2'30"
2018

 

 
DNETTO_Small,_round,_strangely_furry,_with_spots,_stripes_and_other_patterns

small, round, strangely furry, with spots, stripes and other patterns

/trio for clarinet, violin and piano/

You’re trying to describe something to someone – an object, a concept, an idea, a memory – but however you try to go about describing it, you don’t quite manage to get to the core of the thing – you skim around the topic, relay certain details, related ideas, fragmented glimpses – but never managing to give it’s essence with clarity, always hazed and obscured . . .

small, round, strangely furry, with spots, stripes and other patterns  is like this kind of experience. Throughout the work, at its core are just a handful of musical ideas – short melodies, themes, rhythmic patterns – only two or three; however, at no point are these heard clearly. The actual musical substance of the piece is abstractions from these core ideas, eluding to the themes, echoing and augmenting the rhythms, constantly trying to focus in on different facets of the core material, which then spin out to develop new material related to it. Slowly parts drift on musical tangents, the texture becomes more complex, parts conflict and the core of the material becomes obscured/obstructed – while the core musical ideas are always present in some way, they are always shifting in and out of focus.

commissioned by Plexus

clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), violin and piano
duration: 9'30"
2018

 

 

gossamer

/trio for violin, violoncello and piano/

gossamer – a thin, sheer, gauze-like fabric – a fine spider silk,  used by spiderlings for knitting and ballooning – woven into intricate patterns, lace and veils – appearing in the morning delicately suspended across the grass,  catching the morning dew – it is also the name of a giant red hairy Looney Tunes monster, but that’s beside the point . . .

gossamer is a work for piano trio that takes its initial inspiration from these ideas (the fabric and spider silk, not the Looney Tunes monster), spinning out a delicate texture of intricate patterns and thin sounds.

duration: 6'30"
2018

D'NETTO_Gossamer
 

 
D'NETTO_Brief_Moments

brief moments

/miniatures for vibraphone and guitar/

Each

a single thought, a single idea

Each a brief musical moment that simply exists as it is
without need for thorough exploration or development

a texture, a pattern
a motif, a melody
a song

Each sitting contently
Each a moment at ease

commissioned by Claire Edwardes and Karin Schaupp

duration: 11'00"
2018

 

 

breaking, tearing

/sextet for mixed ensemble/

breaking, tearing is a work for small mixed ensemble that looks at taking something very simple, and using it to create something with increasing complexity. Here, it is a simple pattern: 4, 6, 3, 5, 2, 4. This pattern permeates every detail of the music, from the rhythms, to the large-scale structures, to the surface details – it spins itself out in fractal-esk tendrils, reaching every little thing, smaller and smaller. The pattern layers itself, obscuring itself in its detail. As layer upon layer build, they conflict, eventually breaking and tearing at the surface, leaving behind just a shimmering fragmented resonance of the music that came before.

for the Royal College of Music Composers' Studio 2018

flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone, guitar (classical or electric), viola and violoncello
duration: 8'00"
2018

Breaking Tearing - glitch.jpg
 

 
Connor_D'Netto_KensigntonCycle

In its premiere, Kensington Cycle was performed by a group of HiP (Historically Informed Performance) specialists playing on period instruments: alto recorder, baroque viola, baroque triple-harp and a chamber organ!

for Consort 21

duration: 5'00"
2018

kensington cycle

/collage for variable ensemble and electronics/

In a really strange way, this work kinda feels like it sums up my first few months living in London.

It kinda just takes a few things I've been working with – some ideas I've been toying with, some things I've been trying to learn and/or improve, my attempts to work out how the hell to program in Max/MSP – and mashes them all together in some sort of strange yet oddly pleasing musical collage.

The collage brings together three main elements, which could be performed by any arrangement of instruments:

atmosphere bright, energetic, floral, spinning around itself then torn apart by the live electronics creating blurred haze

cycle pulsing echos, these two lines constantly intertwine and toy with each other in a back-and-forth dialogue

chorale lush, familiar, like a warm blanket

 

 

two-tap

/for three guitars/

two-tap tackles the world of electro-acoustic music, but, well, in a completely acoustic manner. . .  It explores the effects and production techniques used in the studio or by amplified/electric instruments, such as chorus, delays/echoes/reverb and panning effects, reinterpreted as acoustic analogies across the trio. The work was commissioned by the Brisbane-based concert series Paint it Red, for the local Rosa Guitar Trio, the classical guitar trio of Benjamin Ellerby, Joseph Fallon, and Elizabeth Myers, to premiere in the final concert of 2016, Paint it Red • PACE.

commissioned by Paint it Red for the Rosa Guitar Trio

duration: 10'00"
2016

 

 

heavy air

/for marimba and violoncello/

Have you ever been to far northern Queensland?
To Cairns? To Innisfail?

Its warm, muggy, humid

Inland, the banana plantations; to the sea, the reefs

Snakes in the grass, crocodiles in the water

And strangely enough, filled with amazingly well-kept art-deco architecture.
Go figure

 

This piece has nothing to do with far northern Queensland...
Other than that I started writing it while on tour in Cairns and Innisfail.

 

commissioned by Caleb Colledge

duration: 7'30"
2016

 

 

in black

/trio for guitar, violin and violoncello/

Out of black fade two textures, images, characters, contrasting each other.

ecstacy/stasis
energetic/lyrical
rhythmic/fluid

A slow crossfade, out of black, through black, in black, 
 

for Eleanor Hill, Hannah Harley, and Joseph Fallon

duration: 10'30"
2016

 

 

parallel

/duet for flute and viola/

for Jo Lagerlow and Kieran Welch

duration: 11'30"
2016

 

 

music for large spaces

/for two pianos/

Music for Large Spaces is an exploration into the way in which performers interact with vast acoustics, distance, and reverb. Two pianos are to be positioned facing each other, lids removed, with as much distance between them as the venue will allow. Originally written for performance in Meditations, in the premiere the pianos were positioned at either end of St John’s Cathedral Brisbane, with over fifty metres between them. The effect of this work is textural and plays upon the listener’s sense of space and time. 

for Sarah Stranger and Misaki Hori

duration: 16'00"
2016

co-written by Ben Heim

 

 

movement to,

/for string quartet/

DNETTO-StringQuartetNo1-mvtII

When I was writing my String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, I finished three movements, the first, third and fourth, got bored, and then stopped. I told myself that I would come back to it . . . and at the beginning of 2015 I did . . . but it was [censored] and I trashed it. It had been performed a number of times at that point with just the three movements, and though it worked well as it was, I still felt that it needed something to break up the rather heavy first and third movements.
So . . . I wrote this . . .
Movement to, is a stand-alone work for string quartet, suitable for performance in alongside any program of works, which can be performed in place of the missing second movement. For this purpose, it was written with the abandoned movement’s length and key in mind, making use of some of the drafted melodies and themes, however without making an attempt to recreate my earlier compositional style.

duration: 6'45"
2016

 

 

traces

/sonata for violoncello and piano no. 1/

When asked to write new works by each the cellist David Freisberg and pianist Samuel Mitchell, I sought to combine the two. The result is equally a sonata for piano and violoncello as it is a sonata for violoncello and piano.

Opening out of hammering chords and grooving rhythms, the first movement falls into motoric patterns, building in momentum before suddenly dissipating into an impressionistic wash.

The second movement opens with sparse cello textures, reminiscent of previous ideas. As this suspends above, brooding piano builds below. The parts collide, developing towards the heart of the work – lush, lyrical, elegiac.

A coda of sorts brings the drive of the first movement together with the soul of the second, before breaking apart and descending into traces of the music it was.

for David Friesberg and Samuel Mitchell

duration: 14'00"
2015

traces
 

 

vagaries

/duet for flute and clarinet/

(n.) an unpredictable instance, a wandering journey; a whimsical, wild, or unusual idea, desire, or action

Vagaries is built from a series of free-flowing solo passages for flute or clarinet, each its own whimsical idea, some making reference to others while some run off on a tangent. Finally, these two streams collide, drawing from the preceding solos to create a slowing building duet. 

A game of cat and mouse unfolds, as one performer moves, followed at a distance by the other. Should the space and context allow, the performers might lead the audience on a chase through the venue, culminating where the duet begins.

Premiered as part of Light Play.

duration: 10'00"
2015

co-written by Ben Heim

 

 

String Quartet No. 2
in E minor

WINNER of the
Australian New Works Award 2015

I keep being misquoted as having said that this piece is about
''the contours of the Australian landscape''.
I didn't.
It's not.
Not really.
. . .
but you can keep on thinking that if it helps you,
people seem to like that sort of thing.

duration: 10'00"
2015

 
 

 

scintilla

/fanfare for brass/

(n.) a tiny brilliant flash or spark; a small thing; a barely visible trace

 

duration: 0'30"
2015

 
 

 

Piano Quartet in B

Three images.

Warm, lush, rising, emerging as if from underwater, beyond the horizon. Flowing melodies, freely winding throughout, cascading, settling.

Foreground: drumming, forceful, repetitive, relentless. Background: distant drones, undulating, unchanging, unrelenting.

Out of the warm reverberating of lush chords, a strange nostalgia arises. Memories of past sound encroach on moments. A strange euphoria arises, an ecstatic movement out of the warm reverberating of lush chords.
It floats off into the distance.

duration: 10'00"
2014

 

 

String Quartet No. 1
in D minor

/the first thing I actually ever finished!/

As you can imagine, being my earliest work (or at least the earliest I still allow to see the light of day), my compositional style has changed considerably since this quartet. But I still love it. Similarly, the way I've thought about the work has changed a number of times – finished as three movement work, but feeling it needed a fourth, intending, attempting, and failing to write it, and eventually coming up with a new solution.

duration: 19'00"
2014

October 2014: 

In my first String Quartet, I was coming from a couple of different angles. The first was to write something short and do it quickly. That didn't really happen. The second was to take some old things and make them new (old ideas of mine, old techniques) and some new things and make the old. Well, fairly new; at least ideas and techniques that are often new, intimidating or unfamiliar and using them to build more familiar structures. For example, taking a serial technique, such as a tone-row, and using it to build quasi-functional progressions, or alternatively, using formal shapes and structure which become buried amidst the mess.

I think it works, don't you?

At times, I think it would work better with another movement. Maybe between the first and second.

Yes, I think I'll do that.

Maybe later.

I think/hope I've grown a lot since back then... )

February 2015:

I thought I'd attempt writing the second movement in time for the upcoming performance at Paint it Red 9.

I didn't get very far.

My style has changed so much since then, and pretending to write the way I used to . . . 

It sounded . . . well . . . 

Next time.

February 2016:

I have a solution: a new work, using some of the original ideas and themes, but not attempting to recreate my old style. It can be performed as a standalone work, or played in place of the missing movement.

The result: Movement to,
I know, what a clever name! )

 

Solo Instrument


 

feeling more like

/solo for viola da gamba and delays/

Imagine being in a place of complete comfort

feeling completely at ease

free to be yourself to the fullest

to be the most you

lean into your you-ness

indulge and surround yourself in it

. . .

feeling more like revels in the quirky yet rich sound of the viola da gamba, unravelling from a simple set of gestures, immersing you in different aspects of its sound, surrounding and saturating you with it in a dense series of delays.

feeling-more-like.gif
 

 
DNETTO_In_Stars

In this way, this work has numerous different realisations:

  • Completely acoustic, with the drones provided by live performers and no amplification or live effects on the violin soloist

  • Pre-recorded drones, but no effects on the violin (amplification optional)

  • Live effects and amplification on the violin soloist, but using an ensemble of live performers for the drones

  • Pre-recorded drones and live effects on the solo violin

  • Everything: live effects on the solo violin, an ensemble of live performers playing the drones, and using the pre-recorded drones

in stars

/rhapsody for violin and drones/

in stars is a work for solo violin accompanied by a bed of constantly shifting drones. As the soloist unfurls its journey through fragments of lush rhapsody and calm contemplation, the dense bed of drones continues to evolve, with one note in the drones’ chord changing every 3 seconds.

The drones themselves can take multiple forms, up to the performers’ choosing. They can be played by an ensemble of live players – a string orchestra, a choir of flutes or other wind instruments, an organ, a choir of voices – dispersed throughout the space, even surrounding the audience on all sides. Or, it can take the form of the provided pre-recorded electronic track. They could also be performed by a combination of both live performers and the pre-recorded track, each playing in their own time.

The violin solo also has multiple forms: it can be performed simply as an acoustic violin solo, or it can be performed with live electronics, taking the live violin sound, amplifying and processing it through a series of effects.

The electronics are provided as a standalone application for Mac OS. The latest version is v1.9 – please contact me if you need an update.

duration: 14'00"+
2018

 

 

stolen glances

/moments for violoncello and electronics/

stolen glances is a work for violoncello and electronics that reminisces on the briefest of moments: an unaware smile. It’s the way someone smiles when their guard is let down, when totally at ease/content/safe, completely unaware that they’re even smiling. It’s a moment you might catch unexpectedly, someone else’s personal moment you might steal, an intimate moment shared.

Written for cellist Ben Baker, it takes a short sample of him experimenting with delay and loop effect pedals as its starting point (a sample I stole from his Instagram feed), which is torn apart to form the basis of the electronics for this work.

for Ben Baker

duration: 7'45"
2017

D'NETTO stolen glances.jpg
 

 

too, the moon

/fantasy for solo viola and electronics/

too, the moon is a work for solo viola and electronics that reworks the musical and emotional material of one of my earlier works, Cold Companion, a short song for soprano and piano. The original work explores contrasts and isolation: a lone voice in the night, the deep blues of a clear nights’ sky, a simple plaintive vocal line, a rich and subtly complex piano part. This new work takes melodic fragments and the sonorous undulating chords of the piano, tears them apart, and brings them back together in a quasi-fantasia, while turning the cold and plaintive outlook of the song into an emotional outpouring.

commissioned by Kieran Welch

duration: 9'30"
2017

 

 

etude in 2 parts

/for piano/

etude in 2 parts is a brief and fast-paced dive into the world of the piano etude. Each of the two parts explores the different aspects of the challenges held within musical repetition, pattern and process, presented in a frenetic flow of notes. part 1 tackles the challenges of embedded polyrhythms and polymeter, adding in layers of new pitches pulsing at differing ratios into the running stream of notes, then becoming subsumed as a moto-perpetuo around which chords emerge. part 2 in turn looks at exact repetition, consistency of attack and sound, and sudden variations to a pattern, with small repeated cells suddenly shifting, or adding or subtracting pitches, with minute changes occurring seaming randomly and the sense of pulse or beat constantly being re-established by the changes in cell length.

duration: 4'00"
2017

 

 
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tarantism

/suite for guitar/

(n.) a form of hysteric behaviour; a nervous disorder marked by uncontrollable bodily movement; overcoming melancholy through dance

Commissioned by guitarist Benjamin Ellerby, this work forms part of a study into how non-guitarist composers approach writing for the instrument. As "Composer B" in the study, I was left to my own devices, having to write the work with no contact between myself and the performer or other guitarist in the process, whereas "Composer A" had weekly sessions learning about the capabilities of the instrument from the performer. Premiered as part of Flow.

commissioned by Benjamin Ellerby

duration: 13'00"
2016

 

 

susurrus

/sonata for solo violin no. 1/

(n.) a low soft sound, as of whispering, muttering or a quiet wind; a whisper or a rustling

Susurrus is an exploration into ephemera, and the vast timbral possibilities of an instrument as versatile as the violin. Opening with a simple set of alternating harmonics, a vast yet sparse texture opens up, buzzing and shimmering before giving way to fragments of lush lyricism and dazzling, energetic acrobatics, only to collapse back into the texture of the opening. Though written for solo violin, the work is enhanced by the optional use of live electronic manipulation, utilising this to enhance these textural effects, as was achieved in its premiere performance as part of  Light Play.

duration: 7'00"
2016

 

 

adoxographies

/works for piano/ 

(n.) beautiful writing on a subject of little or no importance

I was challenged to write a piece a day for a few days. So I did. This is the end result. Watch out, there may be a guitar arrangement coming . . .

duration: 6'30"
2014

 
 
 

Vocal


 

dawn wail for the dead

/elegy for soprano and string quartet/

poem by Oodgeroo Noonuccal

dawn wail for the dead was commissioned by Katie Noonan for her collaboration The Glad Tomorrow with the Australian String Quartet, a project bringing together ten Australian composers to champion the work and life of Indigenous Australian political activist, artist and educator Oodgeroo Noonuccal (fka. Kath Walker) with new settings of her poetry. My work sets her poem of the same name, from her collection of poems The Dawn Is At Hand.

commissioned by Katie Noonan and
the Australian String Quartet

duration: 6'00"
2018

DNETTO_Dawn
 

 
D'NETTO tidal

tidal

/elegy for soprano, violin and piano/

commissioned by argo, for Merlyn Quaife, Monica Curro and Stefan Cassomenos

duration: 9'00"
2017

 

 

Cold Companion

/a song by itself for voice and piano/

Commissioned by soprano Jessica Taylor as a short competition piece, Cold Companion is a deceptively simple song for voice and piano. Unfolding from an undulating piano motif, it explores a sense of isolation – a lone figure, surrounded by the hauntingly beautiful depths of the night sky, the moon, but unable to feel its wonder – waves of rich piano, washing over repeatedly, with voice simply. plaintively, floating through.

commissioned by Jessica Taylor

duration: 3'00"
2016

 

 

From the one who knows you best

/for SATB/

A moment of stillness. Premiered as part of Light Play.

duration: 6'00"
2015

 
 

 

Dominus Illuminatio Mea

/psalm 27 for SSATBB and string quartet/

Dominus Illuminatio Mea was commissioned by Brisbane based vocal sextet, Respiri to be performed alongside Renaissance settings of the same text at its premiere. Austerity, richness, rhetoric, and emotion contrast and combine in a work which fuses post-minimal string textures with flowing vocal counterpoint.

for Respiri and the Armilla Quartet

duration: 10'00"
2015

 

 

Pastores in Regione

/a motet for Christmas for SSAATTBB/

A short unaccompanied motet setting the text from
Luke 2: 8-15, suitable for performance in the
liturgy of advent or in concert.

duration: 5'15"
2014

 
 

 

the Sicilia

/for violin, flute and baritone/

A setting of text from the diary of Sister Lydia King, one of the nurses serving on the SS Sicilia off the coast of Gallipoli during World War One. Dedicated to all nurses who have served during times of conflict.

duration: 6'30"
2014

 
Sisters Lydia and Esther King

Sisters Lydia and Esther King


Mixed-Media & Concept-Concert


 
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. . . everyday spaces . . .
. . . in motion/transit/stasis . . .
. . . ambivalent . . .
. . . without belonging . . . 

non-place

/electroacoustic contemporary ballet/

non-place examines our relationships to familiar spaces, identity and anonymity in modern society. Inspired by the ideas of French anthropologist Marc Auge, non-place creates an all-encompassing experience bringing together contemporary dance, expansive visuals, and a new collaboratively composed score featuring 15-piece chamber orchestra and lush live electronics. Rich, intense, familiar yet surreal, non-place holds an otherworldly looking glass to the commonplace spaces of everyday life.

for the Royal College of Music’s Great Exhibitionists series

1.1(bcl).1.1 - 1.1.1.0 - perc. - piano - 2 vln. 1 vla. 1 vlc. 1 cb
visuals + live electronics
includes the works nowhere moving and passer-by
duration: 60'00"
2019

co-written with Matthew Lomax

 

 

to the sky

/a journey through the universe/

mesmerising, intoxicating, breathtaking, exhilarating :: to the sky dissolves the world around you and ascends through the far reaches of the cosmos

A collaborative creation of Argo and the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, to the sky is a spectacular concert-length journey through our universe and beyond.  

Created to be set under the Planetarium's Cosmic Sky Dome, to the sky features the three string trios spread across the space to completely surround the room, and surround sound electronics and synths, with visuals filling the entire space created custom for this event by the Planetarium's curators – heady mix of cosmic visuals, lush contemporary classical strings, and rich analogue and searing digital synths.

commissioned by argo, for Queensland Music Festival 2017
and Camerata – Queensland's Chamber Orchestra

 

D'NETTO to the sky

for planetarium (with visuals), solo violin, triple string trio,
and surround-sound synthesizers and electronics

duration: 55'00"
2017

co-written by Thomas Green and Joshua Rivory

 

 

Illuminae

/surround sound space opera/

Dive into the world of Illuminae, created in collaboration with Argo, Brisbane Writers' Festival, Queensland Music Festival and the University of Queensland School of Music, and brought to life with music by Ben Heim + Connor D'Netto. 

Taking text from the best-selling sci-fi book of the same name, by Melbourne authors Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, audiences are placed in the centre of the novel’s action as another universe explodes around them in surround sound. Lovers converse, a damaged artificial intelligence goes rogue, and star cruisers battle as live strings and electronics underscore this cinematic experience.

premiered in Brisbane Writers' Festival 2016

duration: 60'00"
2016

co-written by Ben Heim