Update from Melody Eötvös

2023 Continuo Composer Melody Eötvös is writing for Quercus Trio.
She provided this update on how the project is progressing, and answered some questions from us about the commission.

Published by Helen Vorrath, 13 April 2024


The work is progressing well!

I have a title: Shivelight. Shivelight is a word coined by Gerard Manley Hopkins for the rays of sun penetrating a forest (see above).

The work is still on track for an 18-20 minute duration. I hope to send some draft material to Quercus in the next month or so to get some early feedback.

Answering Continuo’s questions….

Why did you choose Quercus to write for? Is it that you wanted to write a horn trio, or that you wanted to write for those musicians in particular?

I chose to write for Quercus after having a wonderful conversation with Carla, where we discussed the ensemble’s philosophy and love of new music. So it’s actually both – I am intensely motivated to write for this combination of instruments, as well as for these particular musicians who I all know to be outstanding performers and incredible people.


What did being awarded the commission mean for you and for Quercus?

It’s always great to have financial support to bring a new creative work into the world. It’s also a lovely acknowledgement of our goals and ideas to bring a new, unique work to Australian audiences as a world premiere.

How do you get started? A shape for the whole work? a concept? an image? a musical phrase?

Having the piano in the ensemble is an immediate access point for me and my drafts have all been started at the piano for this work, so far. Also having a clear concept with the Oak Tree as a foreign entity taking root and essentially naturalizing itself, and the play of “Shivelight” (the work’s title) through that figure, are beautiful concepts and imagery that almost effortlessly direct and inspire the music.

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