concert reviews

"Halcyon's thoughtful program of Australian and American songs... drove one to think about text and the way it works with music... Melbourne composer Melita White... captured something of this structural affinity in Song [Amores II], efficiently translating e.e. cummings's poetic innovations into music."

Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, November 12, 2001.

"Few contemporary music concerts today seem distinctly contemporary without reference to technology. Even fewer concerts present both local technological prowess and creativity in such balance with traditional instrumental performance as did [Auricle's] AUTONOMIC... Immediately contrasting the electronic and sample based works, Melita White's hydra threads addressed the instrumental and overtly live nature of music. Five water filled glass jars and a tenor saxophone, played by Keith Thorman Hunter and Tim O'Dwyer respectively, continued the sonic delicacy of the electronic works but added what was to be an increasingly visceral edge. The work, derived from a hymn, unfolded in the chiming jars and the melodic assertiveness of the saxophone."

Alistair Riddell, RealTime, issue #42, April-May 2001.

"Melita White was a forceful advocate of the flute in the works that she composed and performed... Most successful was the solo flute work [can dy lu minous] based on a poem by e.e. cummings. Melita White managed to extract the maximum amount of color out of the flute, and found a concise language with which to make her point."

Tom Sankey, The Advertiser, November 27, 1999.

"Melita White's Nova, Novem... was engaging with an almost narrative quality, the clarinet and violin making the most of the expressive material."

Tom Sankey, The Advertiser, August 3, 1998.

"Melita White's four-movement Suite for solo cello is firmly based on classical forms and contains some ingenious chord passages..."

Tristram Cary, The Australian, May 8, 1998.

"The most amazing concert gems pop up unexpectedly in Adelaide and this was one of them. Auricle is a group of talented young players with a yen to perform the best modern music well. Auricle's director, composer Melita White, has succeeded in assembling a mixed bag of 20th century music full of incident and contrast and yet jelled as a whole. Add to this professionalism beyond Auricle's youthful players and the splendid acoustics of St John's and you have a winner. Australian content included White's own Suite for solo cello. This assertive music, inevitably reminiscent, although not slavishly, of Schoenberg's Suite, was managed rather stylishly by Zoe Barry."

Rodney Smith, The Advertiser, May 7, 1998.

"Auricle, meaning the outer section of the ear, is an appropriately symbolic label. It comprises an enthusiastic, ambitious, gifted group of young Adelaide musicians led by flautist and composer Melita White... Melita White's pieces for flute, solo and in ensemble were at the core of the program and her intimacy with her instrument was obvious, both in her writing and in her playing. Her canonical pieces revealed her own invention and made obeisance to the greatest contrapuntalist of all, J.S. Bach."

Elizabeth Silsbury, The Advertiser, November 14, 1997.

"Those with a polyphonic bent of mind would have enjoyed the fare presented by Auricle at the Hartley Concert Room on Monday evening. A concert of canons included music from the baroque through to contemporary composers... Melita White offered... challenging music in her Six Simple Canons. Although derived from Bach, the pieces were remarkable for their originality."

Tom Sankey, The Advertiser, December 4, 1996.


White, Melita (1999), "Be More Adventurous", Sounds Australian - 25th Anniversary Issue, Number 54, p. 29.

writing about melita


Appleby, Rosalind (2012), Women of Note: The Rise of Australian Women Composers, Fremantle Press, Fremantle.

Gaw, Julia (Ed.) (2009), Handmade in Melbourne: Your Guide to 200 of Melbourne's Fine Artisans, Slattery Media Group, Docklands, Victoria.

masters thesis/folio

Thesis/folio title: Music Composition as an Expression of Research in Feminist Theory.

For those interested in exploring Melita's research further, her Masters composition thesis/folio is located at the Monash University Library, Clayton, Victoria. See the National Library of Australia's Trove site for location details: