Composing Against the Tide by Jeanell Carrigan


Early twentieth century Australian women composers and their piano music.

There were a relatively large number of women born in Australia between 1860 and 1915 who became composers of piano music. For many of them this was not an easy task. They did not always receive encouragement. Certainly many could not earn a living at this creative work and they battled not only the gender inequality that still largely exists today but also against musical fashion and trends that their works did not always reflect, as well as the backlash which came from being born into a ‘colonial’ country.

This is their story.

Australian Heritage Collection - the piano works of these women have been published in three volumes as researched and edited by Jeanell. Each volume contains a CD of the works within.
A CD Nostalgia has been released with many of these works recorded by Jeanell.  It was featured as ABC Classic FM "CD of the week", November 2016.  All available online:

 ISBN 9781876829421


Leipzig Diary, The by Alfred Hill


The publication of this diary introduces a new perspective on several aspects of musical and social history. We learn through the eyes and ears of a budding young colonial composer about musical life in Leipzig in a Golden Age of musical history when the city was host to a steady stream of names who are now enshrined as the greatest of the greats from the Romantic era. We are treated to first-hand accounts of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Bruch, Reinecke, Sarasate, Joachim, Strauss and Sitt, to mention but a few. Compiled and edited by Donald Maurice.
CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT but can be downloaded as a PDF here $40.00
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 ISBN 978 876829 14 8


Max Cooke's Life in Music by Max Cooke & Fay Woodhouse


Pedagogue on the Platform.
A lifelong love of music, in particular piano, has led to a noteworthy career of Victorian, Max Cooke. Now in his 80s, Max is Professor of Music at Melbourne University where he has taught since 1952.  He has been the Dean of the Faculty of Music at the University, he is the Director of the Team of Pianists and has played in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as well as the ABC.
During World War II he left behind an arts and music degree and spent four years stationed in Darwin as a radio technician. With his love of music (and languages) he forged on and ultimately became the co-designer, with Darryl Coote, of the Australian National Piano Award which, with attractive prize money, was to promote and encourage students who had already established themselves in the profession .
In 1998 he was awared the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
The book contains a CD of 20 tracks with Max performorming a wonderful variety of works.
 ISBN: 978 0 646 53952 2


Mirrie by Olive Lawson


The Life of Composer Mirrie Hill. A biography.
The names of Alfred Hill and Mirrie Hill have been often coupled in reference material on
music and a comparison of their work as composers has sometimes been posited. Mirrie Hill was gifted and able musician and composer.
One of Alfred Hill’s first students in Sydney was Mirrie Solomon. She had already studied with two other teachers of musical composition and was an accomplished pianist before becoming one of his pupils. Though they later would marry, there is no evidence that Alfred Hill influenced her composing style. Mirrie Hill was to be recognised as one of the few notable women composers of the twentieth century in Australia. During her lifetime she was best known for her contribution to music for young students of the pianoforte, but a later assessment might give her more credit for her music that was based on, and thereby honoured, the primitive music of some of Australia’s aboriginal people.
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 ISBN: 978 1 876829 53 7


Poet's Composer, A by Brennan Keats


The biography of Horace Keats 1895-1945 and the connection with some of his associate artists, such as, Peter Dawson, Barbara Russell and the poets, Kenneth Mackenzie, Hugh McCrae, Christopher Brennan and many others.  The book is illustrated with drawings by Hugh McCrae and includes many photographs of personalities of the period.
2nd Edition 2011
Includes double disc of songs by Horace Keats performed by:  Jane Parkin (soprano), Gaven Lockley (baritone), Alexa Still (flute), Clemens Leske (piano).

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 ISBN: 978 1 8768292023


Thinking Allowed by Phillip Wilcher


A life in conversation with itself
Within the learnedness of this most discerning and singularly profound truth dwells a humanness so vast in liberty and limitation, that it denies us any false face we might choose to show to the world in order to shun our truth, favouring more the integrity of our most integrated selves, the common presence present that is of a oneness inherent to all.
Only through the realization of our finest virtues, can we divine a way to endure with courage and compassion, the fullness of our humanity and all its frailties.
Through writing music I composed who I was becoming; through composing words I now write of who I am.
If I am the sum total of my contradictions,
          this is my truth.

 ISBN 9781876829452


Upbeats and Downbeats by Patrick Thomas


A Conductor's Life. An autobiography. A story about a career in music from flautist in the ABC's Queensland Symphony Orchestra to a world of Australian and International orchestral conducting.
Patrick Thomas was not the product of a Conservatorium (there was none in Brisbane at the time) nor did he join the various young hopefuls who sought advanced training or conducting apprenticeships in famous overseas centres. When he jettisoned a burgeoning career as a flautist in the ABC’s Queensland Symphony Orchestra, this could have been the kiss of death in terms of achieving his ultimate ambition but, miraculously, eight years later, he was catapulted overnight into the world he'd always sought. To maintain favour in one’s country with its comparatively small music community can be more difficult than roaming the world where orchestras are plentiful and offer itinerant conductors an immense range of opportunities and alternatives. Sustaining a successful career in music for over 60 years takes more than luck but, in the end, it will be for others to judge the extent of his contribution and the conditions under which it was made. 
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 ISBN: 978 1 87682920 9


Woman Who Stands Alone, A by Brennan Keats


The biography of Janet Keats 1900-1985.  A lifetime dedicated to the furtherance of the contribution made to Australian musical culture by her husband Horace Keats, despite the parlous circumstances that befell her upon his early death.

Born to a privileged country life and raised in the best of Victorian tradition by three maiden aunts, her early education instilled a love of matters intellectual, cultural and an attraction to those who pursue it.  Her experience of war and its horror was both indirect and direct. Towards the end of WWI she performed as a volunteer singer and pianist in the ‘rest rooms’ provided for the soldiers, and saw the impact upon their young lives. During WWII her contact with war was devastated by the loss of her eldest son.  Her choices of husbands were men of exceptional artistic ability. Her first longest and happiest marriage was to a gifted musician and composer, her second to a man of words, both men leaving a lasting cultural legacy that exists to the present day.  Her third marriage was to a man whose cultural and intellectual abilities were inhibited by his Norfolk Island upbringing and WWII.

Through her strength and strong belief she raised her youngest son passing on her beliefs so setting the course for the evolution of the Australian music publisher, Wirripang.
First published March 2016.


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 ISBN: 978 1 876829384