Alex Turley is a Sydney-based composer specialising in acoustic and mixed media concert works, orchestration, theatrical sound design and collaborative media. Alex’s music has been described as “finely atmospheric” (RealTime), “rich and lush” (Argo) and “unapologetically pretty” (Partial Durations).
REVIEW: MINUS ONE SISTER
★ ★ ★ ★ ½
"The work is backed by a killer soundscape from composer Alex Turley, the music is central to the production, creating atmosphere and suspense. This is no ambient soundscape, this is a soundtrack you want to go home and download."
OutInPerth reviews Minus One Sister, presented by SALT. Theatre and Blue Room Summer Nights for Perth Fringe 2018.
30 Jan 2018
"You really have to take your hat off to every single person involved in the arrangements. Not only did they do a brilliant job but they managed to ensure that they were understated in the right parts, letting Eskimo Joe do what they do best; lifting up the arrangements where needed and overall, taking the already great songs and making them transcend in ways that could only be dreamt about."
Had lots of fun creating some orchestrations for Eskimo Joe to tour with the West Australian, Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Album coming soon!
23 February 2018
This year [Turley] brings his refined sense of texture and atmosphere to the Metropolis New Music Festival as one of the three finalists of the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program. His piece, City of Ghosts, depicts a city shrouded in mist, devoid of people. Modal melodies arise from a subtly-thunderous bed of pianissimo tuba and double bass. The melodies move wraith-like across the ensemble, describing towering buildings and arches. With its profound palette, City of Ghosts is testament to Turley’s musical imagination and honed talents as an orchestrator.
Matthew Lorenzon reviews my work at Metropolis 2016 for Partial Durations.
16 MAY 2016
In late 2016 I travelled to Adelaide to work with the Soundstream Collective for their biennial Emerging Composers Forum, alongside Australian composers Dan Thorpe, Leah Blankendaal, Mitchell Mollison and Mark Wolf.
Here's an extract from Graham Strahlel's review of my piece Suspended Leaves for The Australian.
"Whispery and delicate for the most part...taking textual ideas from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, Turley generated plangent, folk song-like melodies and interesting chordal ideas"
5 December 2016
"In a nod to American minimalism Turley’s work was built around repeated semiquaver patterns gently rising and falling in layered waves of sound. The blend of marimba, piano and clarinet created a woody warmth from which sprang soloistic sections for piano and clarinet plus an interlude of piano and marimba droplets sounding just like a music box. Blue Heat was a mix of extreme softness, transparent textures and simmering energy, released finally in a frantic race to the end."
Rosalind Appleby reviews the premiere of my Blue Heat for Limelight Magazine.
30 AUGUST 2017
"...some surprisingly approachable pop fusion in the mode of The Necks."
Love this one. Jonathan W Marshall reviews the premiere of my Nocturnal for RealTime.
8 AUGUST 2017
"Alex Turley’s Efflorescence demonstrated a fine feeling for what works in instrumental terms; its gentrle measures were pleasingly lulling with Robyn Gray eloquent on hushed percussion and Michael Waye in fine form on flute."
Neville Cohn reviews the premiere of my symphonic work Efflorescence.
12 JUNE 2014
"Reminiscent of both Brave New World and The Island, the original score by Alex Turley is integral to the excellence of this piece. An eclectic composition of sounds, it perfectly captured the oppressive atmosphere of the narrative."
Samuel J Cox reviews my score for The Colony.
6 SEPTEMBER 2016
"There is no way that you will please every member of an audience at once; there will always be people that think your work is too weird and there will always be people that think your work is not weird enough. You just have to be as authentic and as true to yourself as you can."
Catch my interview with Megan Steller from Rehearsal Magazine ahead of the premiere of Kusama's Garden at the Queensland Art Gallery.
10 SEPTEMBER 2017
"One of the tricky things about learning how to be a composer is finding a balance between having a voice and language that you can claim as uniquely yours, but not churning out the same piece over and over, and I’ve watched many composers fall too far on either side of that spectrum. For me I try and focus each work on a different visual or extra-musical idea (an image, poem or place, for example) that can take the audience into a unique world, but across every work I still have a very ‘Turley’ way of doing things."
I sat down with Rosalind Appleby to talk about all things composition, ahead of the premiere of my work Blue Heat by Intercurrent.
22 AUGUST 2017
“If I didn’t write music I would feel like there'd be a lot of stuff bottled up in my brain that I wasn’t able to get out. I’m propelled as a composer by this sense of “I don’t have a choice. I just have to."”
Late last year I sat down to talk with fellow composer, Rebecca Erin Smith, as part of the Making Conversation Podcast Project. It's quite a fun interview!
29 MAY 2017
"There have been a few times where I’ve been walking home through the city after work late at night with nobody around, and it’s certainly interesting to see how a place usually so busy can be completely transformed at night. That being said, I tend to stay away from being too specific with descriptions of my pieces as I find it can kill the mood, and limit the audience’s experience. Personally, I am drawn to musical works that are ambient and atmospheric, and I think (hope) that comes through in this work."
An interview with Stephanie Eslake ahead of the premiere of my City of Ghosts with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.