Martin Friedel is a composer and music director. He has composed and directed music for theatre productions at major Australian companies; the legendary Australian Performing Group, MTC, Malthouse and others, collaborating with notable Australian writers such as Jack Hibberd and Frank Hardy.

Martin Friedel headshot

Martin's project

Recent discoveries in plant neuro-biology indicate that plants can produce and react to sound. Inspired by these findings, Martin will undertake a 3.5 month project to investigate and experiment with the sound and music possibilities of ancient trees and ecosystems. Martin will undertake research into Victoria’s Gondwanan forest remnants, undertake field trips and meet with scientists to learn more about the sonic capabilities of trees. Martin will then record audio tracks that will be combined with his own compositions to create new music.

What does being awarded a Creators Fund grant mean to you?
Firstly the grant was unexpected and a total surprise. I’ve been thinking about the theme of trees and sound/music for a while but thought it too 'left field' for the normal music categories. Secondly, a Creators grant allows me to explore the creative content and technical realisation of my ideas free of the pressures that a ‘normal’ music commission brings.

How important is 'time' to you, as an artist/creative professional?
Time is everything. There’s never enough time. Pressures of producing output and outcomes always cuts into ideas time. The Creators Fund grant gives me time "in the back shed", to investigate ideas, tinker with new technologies, make contact with interesting and engaged people way outside my area… pure luxury!

What's the first thing you did when you found out you were awarded a Creator's Fund grant?
When the phone call came I thought a mistake had been made. As sometimes happens. Then took the dog for a long walk, went for a swim and started thinking seriously about where to start.. very exciting. One thing to write an application; another to swing into action.

What are you most looking forward to over the months ahead?
The unexpected. The unknown. A door or window opens out to a new creative landscape, full of possibilities. Going through and returning with a load of new ideas, techniques...

Where would like to see yourself at the end of this process? How do you anticipate your career will develop as a result?
Totally recharged. Notebook full of possibilities. Planning new works based on my discoveries. I’m a ‘mature’ artist; having worked for a long time at what I do, I welcome the leap into the unexpected and the new.

Listen to Martin Friedel on Soundcloud