Virtuoso concert harp player Jacinta Dennett in recital at Bunbury Regional Art Gallery
Acclaimed concert harp player Jacinta Dennett will perform Threaded Stars 2 (2006)—a solo recital featuring works by female composers—at an exclusive concert at Bunbury Regional Art Gallery on Thursday 8th June at 7pm.
This is a rare opportunity for music-lovers to experience Ms Dennett’s virtuoso playing, recognised by music critics and audiences alike for its rare fusion of poetry and physicality. She has a heartfelt and intuitive embodiment of music, with her masterful playing complemented by advanced studies in flamenco dance and martial arts.
Ms Dennett will perform works inspired by her PhD research at the University of Melbourne’s Conservatorium of Music, where she is exploring trends in modern harp repertoire for solo harp by Australian women composers.
Her concert title, Threaded Stars 2, takes its name from a harp solo of the same name by Bunbury-born composer, Jennifer Fowler. Ms Fowler now lives in the UK, and in 2015 approached Ms Dennett asking her to perform Threaded Stars.
Audience members who have previously heard Ms Dennett perform this solo have described it as feeling like “… I was out in the beginning universe with beautiful galaxies being formed,” (Helen Cox, author) and that Ms Dennett’s interpretation was “… dream-heavy—filled with the substance of the gold space between the stars,” (Danae Killian, pianist).
Ms Dennett’s concert will feature works by the following composers:
- Peggy Glanville-Hicks (Sonata for Harp, 1951)
- Helen Gifford (Fable, 1967)
- Elena Kats-Chernin (Chamber of Horrors, 1995)
- Eve Duncan (The Sun Behind It … Burning It, 2004)
- Johanna Selleck (Spindrift, 2008)
- Alicia Grant (Three Pieces, 2017)
- Miriam Hyde (Sunlit Waterfall, 1993)
For the Bunbury concert, Ms Dennett will play a Salvi ‘Diana’ harp generously loaned by Helen Punch. Of note is that the sound board of Salvi harps is made from Fiemme Valley Spruce; the famous ‘tree of music’ that grows in a UNESCO world heritage area of Italy. Fiemme Valley Spruce is unique in the world for its resonant properties, and is used to manufacture soundboards and tops for all classical musical instruments, included the famed Stradivarius violins.
Ms Dennett’s WA visit is made possible through assistance from The Harp Society of Western Australia Inc. and the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship, through the University of Melbourne.
About Jacinta Dennett
Jacinta Dennett is a leading figure in harp performance and teaching in Australia, and is emerging as an authority on Australian women composers through her PhD research at the University of Melbourne. Her wide range of performance styles include as concerto soloist, recitalist, orchestral and chamber musician, as well as playing Celtic harp in an Irish band, teaming up with an operatic soprano in duo Bliss! and as a Showcase performer aboard a Japanese cruise ship. Reviewers have declared Jacinta’s performance as ‘beyond reproach’, and one commentator described her unique gift as ‘making architecture through sound’.
About Threaded Stars, by Jennifer Fowler
Composed in 1983 by Jennifer Fowler (b. 1939), this piece for solo harp was revised under the title Threaded Stars 2 in 2006. It comprises a single stream of notes etching out a characteristic pattern: a cluster of notes that revolves around a central note; a kind of ‘star’ pattern in which the central note exerts a gravitational pull on the surrounding notes. Leading from one ‘star’ pattern to another are episodes with a strong sense of direction, or line. The line pulls the stream of notes upwards or downwards until encountering another star pattern.