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  • Writer's pictureJoe Gehrke

Under the Watchful Eye of the Glass House Giants – An Australian Overture

A Night at The Proms on 16th September 2023 features the premiere of a piece by Australian composer Clifford Bradley, commissioned by the SCSO.

Under the Watchful Eye of the Glass House Giants – An Australian Overture will be a musical journey evoking the unique features of the Sunshine Coast, centering around the history and the majestic splendour of the Glass House Mountains and the hoard of wildlife that resides in the mountains and surrounding forests.

Under the Watchful Eye of the Glass House Giants is the first known symphonic piece composed on the Sunshine Coast about the Sunshine Coast.

Clifford Bradley says that “The work is inspired by the amazing variety of wildlife found on the Sunshine Coast and the spectacular mountains that stand silently watching over the region.”

There are four sections to the piece, which runs as a continuous whole.

Part 1 : The Forest Awakens:

It is dawn in the forest of the Sunshine Coast hinterland; and we hear birds calling amongst the trees, and animals moving on the forest floor as the forest begins to spring to life. It begins with a call of an elusive bird that Clifford has heard from his home, possibly a Pied Butcherbird.

Part.2 : The Forest at Play:

The forest is now in full swing, with all kinds of life - flying, crawling, scurrying, slithering - getting on with their daily activities.

Part.3 : The Awakening of the Giants:

We now pause to consider the spectacular Glass House Mountains and their significance to the local Gubbi Gubbi and Jinibara people.

Finale : Standing with Eternity:

We, along with all of the marvellous birds and animals of the region are all merely passing through, whilst these majestic giants have stood for thousands of years before us, and will stand for long after we have departed.

Holding a Bachelor of Music (Honours) from University of Queensland, Clifford has also studied screen composition at AFTRS in Sydney under Nigel Westlake, who is widely known for the soundtrack to the film Babe.

Living back in Brisbane, Clifford wrote the music for the first Spierig brothers film, a low-budget horror film called Undead. The film had success and played all over the world, which launched the career of the brothers and other people who worked on the film.

His next significant composition project was a Brisbane-based TV series called FarmKids, which ran for several seasons on ABC Kids.

Clifford is now established as one of the top film music orchestrators in Australia, working with fantastic composers including his mentor Nigel Westlake.

In 2021 Clifford wrote the music for the feature film Perfect Messy Love, shot on the Sunshine Coast, and is currently composing the music score for another local feature, The Edge, directed by Jane Larkin.

Click here for Clifford’s IMDb profile and biography.

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