The music of Perth composer Alex Turley has been described as “yearning...illustrative” (Classic Melbourne), “introverted” (The West Australian) and “unapologetically pretty” (Partial Durations). With a focus on atmospheric textures, vivid colours and slowly evolving gestures, Turley's works have been commissioned by musical artists across Australia and beyond.
Recent works by Turley have been performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestras, Voyces, Naya Chorale, Soundstream Collective, Perth Symphony Orchestra, Maverick Saxophone Quartet, and Grey Wing Ensemble. He has composed original scores for theatre and film featured in the Perth Fringe World Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Revel8 Film Festival. His music has been broadcast on ABC Classic FM, 3MBS (Melbourne) and RTRFM (Perth).
"If you are going to do something, do it well. This might the be ethos of the young Perth-based composer Alex Turley...he 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, Partial Durations (on City of Ghosts)
City of Ghosts (2015) was selected by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to be performed in the 2016 Metropolis New Music Festival, under the baton of leading American conductor and six time Grammy award winner Robert Spano. The work was commissioned with support from the Cybec Foundation. The recent Concerto for Saxophone (2015) was composed for friend and longtime collaborator David Gioia, and received its premiere late in 2015. With the support of a Young People and the Arts Grant from the DCA, the concerto is set to be recorded with a hand-picked professional ensemble and released independently later in 2016. Other recent awards include the Joondalup Arts in Focus Composition Grant for Ink (2013), and First Prize in the Voyces ‘Aspire’ Competition for Watercolour (2014).
"Alex Turley proposed a more minatory vision than anything heard so far…Just when you anticipated an extended study in sound-patterns, Andrew Macleod’s alto flute produced a fluent, fertile melody, followed by Michael Pisani’s cor anglais taking up the thread. A faster-moving segment featuring a well-constructed piccolo solo supported by string patterns led to a brief return of the opening mood. Turley offered his performers some aleatoric episodes but, judging by Northey’s cues, these were pretty well- contained moments of freedom."
— Clive O'Donnell, The Age (on City of Ghosts)
Turley holds a degree in Composition and Music Technology with First Class Honours from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, where he studied closely with Lachlan Skipworth and Lindsay Vickery. Other composition workshops he has been a part of include including the WASO EChO Composer Project, CYBEC 21st Century Australian Composer Program, Soundstream Emerging Composers Forum, Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Composer Workshop, and Gondwana Choral Composer School.
A full artist CV is available here.
“Alex Turley’s Efflorescence demonstrated a fine feeling for what works in instrumental terms; its gentle measures were pleasantly lulling with Robyn Gray eloquent on hushed percussion and Michael Waye in fine form on flute.”