In 2017, the TSO commissioned young Tasmanian composers Rhys Gray and Thomas Misson to write short pieces of music for the Second Echo Ensemble production CONTESTED LAND. Second Echo Ensemble is a Hobart-based performance group whose mission is to create and present exceptional performances that challenge assumptions, shake up stereotypes and give voice to untold stories.
Rhys and Thomas, who were selected in consultation with Maria Grenfell, were assigned their topics by Michael Fortescue, long-time TSO Double Bass and current music director of Second Echo Ensemble, and were mentored by TSO percussionist, conductor and composer Gary Wain. The two works, Love Theme for Second Echo and The Contest, were recorded on 24 May and performed in the TSO Studio before an audience made up of the composers, Second Echo members together with their families and friends, and TSO supporters, including members of the Conductor’s Circle. The day finished with afternoon tea in the Green Room, a perfect opportunity for everyone to become better acquainted.