13 Oct 2014

Dorothy KER: The Third Dream

From NZ Composer Sessions, 12:00 am on 13 October 2014

The Third Dream is the one of a series of works exploring the nature of memory and dreams.

In this piece, the ‘dreamer’ is the earth itself, recalling an episode in its own history. Emerging from the primordia of a barely audible heartbeat, to which it ultimately returns, the work draws on the full resources of the symphony orchestra to build organically from delicate stirrings to a physicality of volcanic intensity.

Dorothy Ker

Dorothy Ker Photo: Moana Bianchin


Dorothy Ker’s music is performed and broadcast in both hemispheres and has been heard at international festivals in Auckland, Belfast, Darmstadt, Huddersfield, Perth, Taipei, Seoul, at the ISCM, and in London. She was born in Carterton, New Zealand and completed BMus and MMus degrees at Auckland University, where she studied with Douglas Mews and John Rimmer. In 1992 she emigrated to the UK, where she studied with Nicola Lefanu and Harrison Birtwistle, completing a PhD at York University in 1998. Her studies were followed by Research Fellowships at Reading University (2001–2004) and Sheffield University (2005-2010), where she is currently Senior Lecturer in Composition. In 2007 the CD diffracted terrains: Chamber Music of Dorothy Ker was recorded by the London-based ensemble Lontano.

Recent projects include a gentle infinity commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and Clepsydra composed in collaboration with Christopher Redgate for the new Redgate-Howarth oboe in 2011-12. In 2010 she was awarded a major research grant to make Amelia and the Mapmaker with sculptor Kate Allen, a mixed media theatre piece building on early research with mathematician Marcus du Sautoy. During her time in NZ she will be collaborating with ensembles and soloists including 175East and Stroma, and will be hearing two of her orchestral works recorded by the NZSO. She is currently writing a solo cello piece for Lucas Fels, to be performed at Darmstadt in 2014. She spent July 2013-June 2014 as Visiting Scholar at NZSM, and resident at the Lilburn house in Wellington. In 2015, Ker received the 2015 Composers Association of New Zealand Trust Fund Award for her contribution to music composition. In 2016, Dorothy’s String Taxonomy was premiered by NZTrio and Xia Jing.

Recorded 13 October 2014, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ Concert for 2014 NZ Composer Sessions.

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