My Music & Compositions

The Sermon of Spices

The Sermon of Spices, performed on 21st and 28th November 2003 was an artistic collaboration with Horst and Jennifer Kornberger and Nicole Lawrence synthesizing poetry, visual art and music.

 

1.The Sermon of Spices          Poems by Jennifer Kornberger, Piano Music by Paul Lawrence

  1. Buddha in Honey Poems and Visuals by Horst Kornberger, Music by Paul Lawrence
  2. Suburban Kul-kul Poems by Jennifer Kornberger, Percussion by Paul Lawrence
  3. Invocations to the Spirit of Place Poems by Horst Kornberger, Music by Paul Lawrence
  4. Spinifex Dream Visual Art by Nicole Lawrence, Piano Music by Paul Lawrence
  5. Dat Rosa Mel Apibus (The rose that gives the bees honey) Poems by Jennifer Kornberger, Music by Paul Lawrence

The Winter Festival Series

These five Winer Festivals were written and directed by Horst and Jennifer Kornberger with music by Paul Lawrence. They were enacted outdoors by the communities of Perth Waldorf School and partly by Silver Tree Steiner School. Throughout the evening, a story would unfold as the community (700+) moved through various outdoor stages around the school. Students had already prepared songs, teachers and parents would act the various roles and the narrative thread led the whole community through an inner Solstice journey.

 

* The Man with Three Names (2004)

* The Queen and the Key  (2005)

* The Knights of the True Fire (2006)

* The Winter Shoes (2009)

* The Two Flutes (2011)

 

Edge of the World

Edge of the World was another artistic collaboration with Horst and Jennifer Kornberger, culminating in a performance at the Vital Years Conference, Perth on 2nd July 2005 and in Darlington Hall December 17th 2005.

 

  1. The Sermon of Spices Poems by Jennifer Kornberger, Piano Music by Paul Lawrence
  2. Spirit of Place Poems by Horst Kornberger, Music by Paul Lawrence
  3. The Magdalen Does Seven Drawings Poems by Jennifer Kornberger, music by Paul Lawrence
  4. Suburban Kul-kul Poems by Jennifer Kornberger, Improvisation by Paul Lawrence
  5. Earth Seen from Space poem by Horst Kornberger, music by Paul Lawrence
  6. Dream Music by Paul Lawrence
  7. Love Poems poems by Horst Kornberger, music by Paul Lawrence
  8. Melody Music by Paul Lawrence performance by Mark and Cerys Tooby
  9. My Beautiful Old Age words by Horst and Jennifer Kornberger, improvisation by Paul Lawrence

The Bee Master

The Bee Master is a festival-drama written by Jennifer Kornberger, with music by Paul Lawrence.

It has only been performed once:  at the National Anthroposophical Society Conference, Perth 2008. The Bee Master with its 50 page music score unfolded over 3 nights over the Michael-Easter-full moon confluence.

“Something stirs now in the world- the nectar flow has begun…”

The Bee Master is a contemporary fairy tale for adults. It uses the metaphor of the global honey bee crisis to awaken us to the challenges and possibilities of new community. It grapples with genetic engineering and the meeting of art and science. It explores the experience of time as the speed of love, and the meaning of warmth in the human encounter.

The choir formed largely by word of mouth- people with a deep longing to create a new music that speaks a universal language. The sounds of the Bee Master are pure, profound and timeless: simple clear melodies and warm harmonies produced by that most resonant of all instruments: the human voice.

The Bee Master has drawn me out of my hermit’s cave into a buzzing, spiritual-artistic community. Listening to one another, harmonizing together; striving mind, body and soul for a higher purpose: this to me is future community- the human hive in which each individual is aware of the whole and gains nourishment from it. Our striving together has produced nectar. I hope that you too may taste the honey.

Images: https://www.rudolfsteinercollege.com.au/past-events

Ebb and Flow

“Ebb and Flow” was performed in November 2019 at PS Art Space in Fremantle as part of the Fremantle Biennale. 

Ebb and Flow is conceived as an expansion and investigation of the mysterious art of “toning” (vocal improvisation using only vowels). Over one year, the specially-formed Undercurrent Choir  worked with Paul Lawrence to uncover some of the mysteries of toning. This music is not intended to be either entertaining or intellectual. It is a reflection of the subtle music that resounds above, below and around us: the Undercurrent of Life itself.

Ebb and Flow is presented in four water-inspired movements, with audience interaction:

 

  1. Ocean expresses the rhythm and harmony that arises between the two universal acts of contraction and expansion.

 

The audience is invited to move with the gently revolving current created by the choir.

 

  1. Tides expresses one aspect of the mighty cosmic Will in nature.

 

The audience stands against the north wall to bear witness to the moving tides.

 

  1. Undercurrent expresses the subconscious music that dwells in the utter depths of our earth, our oceans and ourselves.

 

Meander amongst the sounds or sit/lean against a pillar and feel the pull to the semi-conscious place of mysteries.

 

  1. River explores the primordial breathing rhythm created by “the interval of the fifth”. The subtle hypnotic rhythm of the eternally flowing river encourages us to breathe and heal.

 

Walk slowly through the channel of sound as many times as you like.

 

 

 

 

Musical Director: Paul Lawrence

 

Artistic Support: Tom Mueller

 

The Choir:

Tony Balint, Sam Banks-Smith, Shaun Banner, Zoe Brennan, Rick Bryant, Jennifer Byrne, Madeline Clare, Dave Coggin, Jess Colgan-Toohey, Agnes deSouza, Paula Harris, Lekkie Hopkins, Brendon Humphries, Koral Island Ward, Tej Bhagti Kaur, Nicole Lawrence, Anna Macoboy, Sharon McCann, Fiona McVey, Daniel Martin, Lesley Meaney, Elizabeth Murray, Kia Nelson, Lisa Payne, Peter Payne, Mark Rowntree, Jeremy Scrivener, Jane Shanahan, Mark Taylor, Cara Teusner-Gartland, Anjea Travers, Sue Wallwork, Andy Williams, Bobby Wilson, Gosia Winter. 

 

 

 

Reviews for Ebb and Flow:

“innovative, fresh, moving, astonishing”

 

“It was like being part of a moving, singing pilgrimage as we walked round with the singers in a sort of trancelike state…it was profoundly moving and I felt like crying for some reason, not from sadness, the kind of welling up that comes when you encounter the beautiful.”

 

“The most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard”

 

“A beehive symphony, an underwater bardo, waves sung to the shores of hearing, a pilgrimage amid the voice of friends .  I felt uplifted, cleared, and cleansed amid a sea of sound.  I loved your use of space and movement and audience involvement, as well as the spaciousness, the sound-bath, the harmonic cloud. ”

 

“It was a powerful experience being bathed in the pure, open sound of the human voice. I particularly liked walking with the choir as they circled the space, I felt that I was on a pilgrimage, a Camino sojourn at night, my companions were close, the stars were sounding to me. The sense of community was strong, wholeness was made audible. Thank you for such a beautiful, healing artwork.”

 

“the beauty of the voices and the binaural beats drew me into a place of peace and I have not been in for a long time”

 

From the choir:

“Socially and in terms of community building it’s been wonderful to work with a group as diverse in age and interest and sensibility as this one …and to feel the shifts and changes in group energies as everyone seriously learns to listen to and respond musically to one another. I love the feeling of bonding effortlessly with the group through this musical experience.”

 

“You are like a patient gardener of sound and voices.”

 

“Thank-you for meaningful connections and the opportunity to breathe together in joyful harmony”

 

“Words can’t sum up my love and gratitude to everyone in the Undercurrents Choir this year. This project has grounded me through some of the best, worst and busiest months of my life”.

 

 

 

The Monolithic Scores

Monolith Scores/Tonal Steps  (March 2020)

was performed in the iconic Art Gallery of Western Australia in response to its “brutalist” architecture. Composer Paul Lawrence took inspiration from the main feature of the concourse, its spiral staircase, and also its imposing hexagonal structure, attempting to make the fixed stone edifice breathe. Collaborating with artist Tom Muller, partly improvised, and again entirely sung in vowels, the performance explored the two poles of rigid/fixed versus flowing/breathing through movement and sound.

Songs of the South West

My first book, Songs of the South-West will be published in 2021. It is a compilation of children’s songs I have written over the last 20 years. These songs are a humble attempt to connect us more closely to the beautiful south-west corner of Australia- to its seasons, rhythms, flora and fauna.

Let us not forget that singing has always been the primary way to connect to country. May this vitally important connection continue to grow.