Thomas Meadowcroft is a freelance composer who makes music for the concert hall, theatre and radio.
His work has been described as “reaching an inexpressible purity” (Le Monde), “dreamy post-rock”
(The New York Times), “never-ending, sugar-sweet” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), ”hauntingly beautiful”
(The Sydney Morning Herald), and “motorized nostalgia” (The Scotsman, Glasgow).
Thomas’ orchestral music has been performed by, among others, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and
the SWR Symphony Orchestra, his choral music by Der Mädchenchor der Sing-Akademie zu Berlin.
His chamber music has been performed by, among others, ensemble recherche, Eklekto Percussion
Collective, members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, Speak Percussion,
and Yarn/Wire. His music has been presented at various international festivals and concert series
including Carnegie Hall, the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center, Lucerne Festival
and Maerzmusik Berlin. Portrait concerts of his music have been given at, among others, Iwaki
Auditorium Melbourne, and Miller Theatre NYC.
Australian by birth, he has lived in Berlin since 1998. To cite the writer Paul Griffiths, 'it is the
resulting distance of the country of the composer's birth that informs several of his projects, in which
memory is coming at us from several different removes'. This is evidenced, for example, in his three
radio plays for German radio, Song Buslines, Moving Homes, and Talkback Burnback, fictional music
soundscapes set in regional Australia; as well as in the sound installation for QAGOMA, Monaro Eden,
which features recordings of cousin Peter's V8 hotrod.
Along with examining aspects of Australian cultural memory, much of Meadowcroft's music addresses
the political economy of music as part of each work's realization. The News in Music, for live symphony
orchestra, examines TV news music and orchestral media in the service of power, whereas
Die Kinder über dem Informationsmeer (Children over a Sea of Information), for children's choir and
string orchestra, sees children reciting texts culled from YouTube user threads, while accompanied
by chamber pop string arrangements. Another Children’s Television sees the live presentation of
recordings of lost 1970’s library music for public-funded children’s television programs.
As performer, he as performed at various festivals and series, inlcuding Holland Festival, Issue Project
Room, Huddersifeld Contemprary Music Festival and the Pavillion at die Volksbühne am
Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. In 2015 he made orchestral arrangements of the music of Dirk von Lowtzow
for the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg, as part of the opera, Von einem, der auszog...,
by René Pollesch.
His music has been released on Mode Records, New York.
(current to May 2022)
/// 2022 Forever Turnarounds (for studio orchestra; for members of the South West German Radio
Big Band and Symphony Orchestra) - Another Children’s Television (chamber music for ‘Yarn/Wire’)
- Forward Through Circles (chamber music for ‘Yarn/Wire’) /// 2021 Alleinunterhaltung für
Alleinunterhalter (solo concert-install for Berlin Volksbuehne) - Talkback Burnback (radio play for
Deutschlandfunk Kultur) - Rolando Continuo (solo percussion music for Nathan Gatenby and
Australian Academy of Music) /// 2020 More Beautiful Discourse (chamber music for Hammond organ
and string trio, for ‘ensemble recherche’) /// 2019 Die Kinder über dem Informationsmeer / Children
over a Sea of Information (for children’s choir and string orchestra; for Der Mädchenchor der
Sing-Akademie zu Berlin and 'Solistenensemble Kaliedoskop') - So Long Country (gamelan performance
for Kamrul Hussin, Megan Samardin, Derick Danker and ‘Speak Percussion’) /// 2018 March Static
(marching band music for ‘Speak Percussion’) /// 2017 Discount Minimall (concert-install for Eklekto
Percussion Collective, Geneva) - The News in Music (for symphony orchestra; for the South West
German Radio SO and Ilan Volkov) /// 2016 Moving Homes (radio play for Deutschlandfunk Kultur
and ABC Creative Audio Unit) - Medieval Rococo (chamber music for ‘Ensemble Offspring’) - Peacemaker
Tattoo (for symphony orchestra; for the BBC SO and Brett Dean) /// 2014 Eremozoic Age Lovers (texts by
Edward O Wilson, and the sweet nothings of anonymous lovers: for choir, organ and narrator;
for Grete Pedersen, South West German Radio Vocalensemble), Accommodation for String Quartets
(installation for QuartettPLUS1) /// 2013 Cradles (chamber music for‘Speak Percussion’) -
Medieval Baroque (chamber music for 'Eklekto Percussion Collective' and 'Kammerensemble
Neue Musik Berlin') - Walkman Antiquarian (chamber music for ‘Yarn/Wire’) -Song Buslines
(radio play for Deutschlandfunk Kultur) /// 2012 Opera Abstract (three-minute-pitch-on-a-loop
for Munchener Biennale) /// 2011 The Great Knot (chamber music for ‘Speak Percussion’) ///
2008 Monaro Eden (installation for Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art)
- Monaro Study (for two clarinets; for the 'Elision' ensemble) /// 2007 Ezra Jack Plot (chamber music for
'Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin') / 2003 Plain Moving Landfill (percussion solo
for Christian Dierstein) /// 2001 Pretty Lightweight (chamber music for ‘Klangforum Wien’),
Ground Manual (chamber music for ‘ensemble recherche’) /// 2000 Home Organs (percussion
sextet for ‘Les Percussions de Strasbourg’)
'Yarn/Wire' play Walkman Antiquarian MORE INFO
'ensemble recherche' play More Beautiful Discourse MORE INFO
Talkback Burnback MORE INFO
Mode Records Disc MORE INFO
South West German Radio SO play The News in Music MORE INFO
"...cheap entertainment music. And then when somebody shows up like a village idiot, whose The News
in Music is a US-American modelled news music strung together in a Hollywood-like manner, then it
hails in a concert of 'boos'. (Badische Zeitung)
"His collage of film music soundtracks and news jingles is really super dull." (Bavarian Radio Classic)
"If (the composer) had sold each individual scrap to television companies, he would be a millionaire."
"A strange brew, that hardly gives satirical sharpness to worldly turmoil, so that the ending itself
only looks just as bad in contrast." (Neue Musik Zeitung)
"A scrawled, film music lament about the phenomenon of fake news... more critical radio play than
composition." (Neue Zuercher Zeitung)
"The piece still fits into the trend of new accessibility." (Osnabruecker Zeitung)
"Would it not have been better to make a radio piece out of it? After five minutes everybody gets it.
What comes in the next fifteen minutes afterwards is diffident annoyance." (Schweizer Musikzeitung)
"It's a scandal that not more people were outraged." (Stuttgarter Zeitung)
'Yarn/Wire' playWalkman Antiquarian MORE INFO
Moving Homes MORE INFO
'Speak Percussion' play Cradles MORE INFO
string arrangements, 'Tocotronic' MORE INFO
Thomas Meadowcroft: t[dot]meadowcroft[at]web[dot]de
Philippa Allan (Real Arts): pa[at]realarts[dot]eu
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photo: la Maison communale de Plainpalais, Geneva CH, Nov. 2018 (copyright: Nicolas Masson 2018)