Toby Wren

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Online (Aus)

27 May 2019




Toby Wren

27 May 2019

Accomplished Toby Wren is a lecturer and mentor for the SAE Masters of Creative Industries, he is currently working on an album and dreams of India. 



Professional Bio: 

Toby is a composer, improviser and artistic researcher. His work is diverse and exemplifies the intersection of practice and theory, incorporating both practice-based and practice-led methodologies. In 2018, Toby co-edited a book with Vanessa Tomlinson on Artistic Practice, Here and Now, including a chapter authored by him. Toby's creative output is mostly in album format: he writes sets of compositions for specific ensembles to perform and record. He has released six albums of his original music including the recent, Black Mountain, which was critically acclaimed in national print media. 
As a composer his premieres include works written for the Southern Cross Soloists, Trevor Hart Quartet, West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Orchestra, where he was a resident composer in 2003. In 2018, he was one of a group of Brisbane composers commissioned to write a piece for the project Trading Fours, which plumbed archival material on the history of jazz in Queensland to examine the through-lines into contemporary jazz practice. He was also part of the recording ensemble for the project, which will launch in 2019. 
Toby completed a Doctor of Philosophy in 2015 through the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. His research deals with the ethics of interculturalism, cultural appropriation and musical hybridity and examines how meaning is negotiated in intercultural contexts through improvisation. The research stems from his involvement and collaboration with South Indian (Carnatic) musicians in India and Australia over a number of years. This research includes traditional research outputs (conference papers, articles and chapters) and practice-based outputs: the CDs The Carnatic Jazz Experiment (2011) and Rich and Famous (2012). 
Research Areas: Ethnomusicology, Musicology, Hybridity, Cultural Difference, Practice-based Research, Research 


What music are you loving right now?

Listening now: Petros Klamparis "Chroma"; Gilad Hekselman "Ask for Chaos"; Noname "Room 25"; the Bach English suites I'm struggling through on piano, and the K-Pop my kids are obsessed with. 

Why do you love working at SAE?

I find it a constant source of inspiration to work with students who are finding their creative identity and place in the world.  

What is the best fun fact about yourself?

I like puzzles, boxing, walking, and trying new and unusual foods. 

How do you like to spend your time outside of SAE?

Playing guitar, cooking (mostly south indian food), reading philosophy and detective novels, playing Polytopia instead of going to the gym, and hanging out with my kids.

What is your life motto?

Do one thing well. 

What is your dream holiday destination?

Recurring dream, recurring destination: Chennai, India, for the food and for the music festival.



Are you working on any exciting projects at the moment?

Playing with my quintet at Doo-Bop, performing some songs I wrote for the amazing vocalist Merinda Dias-Jayasinha. The songs are from a song cycle about 18th c. sail travel, lost love, shipwrecks and drowning. If I can ever finish writing it, there will be a CD probably next year. 


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