The School of Music’s active composition department is led by Chris Cree Brown and Elaine Dobson. Hamish Oliver is responsible for digital music.
Chris Cree Brown's main interests include conventional composition, electroacoustic music, computer music and Intermedia Art. His recent exhibitions include The Dinner exhibited in the Physics Room in collaboration with Fiona Gunn, and a 40% working model of his design for an Aeolian Harp exhibited in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens for three months in 2002. His recent compositions include Memories Apart for chamber ensemble (commissioned by 175 East, and for which he was a finalist in the 2002 Sounz Contemporary Music award), The Watertable for Flute and Tape (commissioned by the New Zealand Flute Society) and Y2K Pacemaker (commissioned by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra).
Along with the orchestral work, Icescape, (for which he was a finalist in the 2003 Sounz Contemporary Music award) is an electroacoustic work, Under Erebus, which is the result of his trip to Antarctica under the auspices of Antarctica New Zealand and with the assistance of Creative New Zealand.
Elaine Dobson’s compositions explore the relationship between music and the visual arts, experimental instrumentation and music theatre – including the graphic scores Now for six players, “9” for solo instrument or nine instruments which was performed and exhibited at the 22nd Festival of Perth, Australia and 1X1 for choir and chamber group - and fusion music including Banten, for Balinese trompong, gong and Tibetan cymbals (1999), and Ancient Moon, for Balinese gamelan and Japanese kotos (2001).
Hamish Oliver’s musical interests include improvised music, alternative MIDI controllers, music for silent film, the duduk (an Armenian double reed wind instrument), music for computer and console games, medieval music, and the game/music works of composer John Zorn. As a pianist, he has performed with Hayley Westenra, Bic Runga, and Anika Moa among others. His most recent computer generated and live-recorded sound work was to match the moods of flower costumes worn in rhe Exotica Floral Costume Art Extravaganza
Current composition work includes M.Mus student Julie Johnson’s Grab the Brass Ring for orchestra, readings by the Auckland Philharmonia and NZSO 2006, and NZSO’s performance of Gumboot Waltz by Chen (Tony) Lin.