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ClassicsOnline Home » ATKINSON, Michael: To the Shores of an Ancient Sea
Michael Atkinson comes from South Australia, the driest state in the driest continent on earth. Born in Ceduna, a town on the sea near the Nullarbor Plain, his involvement with music began when he started learning guitar to relieve the tedium of secondary school. He says that he was quite discouraged when he was not able to play like Jimmi Hendrix after a couple of weeks. However, his early aspirations enabled him to develop skills that resulted in the formation of a folk rock band called Redgum. This band attained considerable national celebrity and sales, and made several tours of Europe during the early 'eighties.
Michael went on to study music at the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music, and his compositions have been performed in concert in Australia and the United States. As well as being an accomplished musician, he is an award winning composer, and has won many awards for his film scores, including an ARIA for 'Snowy' and an AFI for 'Stan and George'. He has completed seven full-length film scores and innumerable scores for documentaries and television, in styles that range from country to traditional jazz, and from classical to contemporary rock.
"The creative demands of a film composer are various," he says. "In just one week, I may be expected to write, arrange and record a rock song, a symphonic piece, and a jazz groove, each for a different project. This album is the first collection of music by me for many years that has not been written to underscore a film, and so I either evoked or remembered the musical scenarios for it, rather than writing to already existing film."
Whether they realise it or not, water shapes the subconscious of most Australians, and To The Shores Of An Ancient Sea is Michael's musical reflection of his unique Australian heritage.
"If you stand on the towering cliffs that overlook the Great Australian Bight, you can see water as blue as cobalt that stretches beyond the eye, ever south to the glacial vastness of Antarctica. Turn around, and you look north across the depths of the Australian hinterland, where the searing heat sends the horizon dancing a constant mirage two thousand miles to Darwin."
It is Michael's ability to evoke these unique scenes through his music that makes this album so utterly appealing.
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ATKINSON, Michael: To the Shores of an Ancient Sea