Martin Mackerras is a composer and multi instrumentalist living in Melbourne. After his school years where he spent most of his weekends going from youth orchestra practice to band practice he began his studies at The Queensland Conservatorium and Victorian College of the Arts. Then as a Fulbright Scholar he studied clarinet, composition and recording techniques at Manhattan School of Music in New York. On his return to Melbourne he put together his own ensemble who did a national tour and made the recording 'As all the Heavens were a Bell'. This recording featuring the voice of Helen Morse also includes a virtuosic performance of The Waves a 45 minute work for Piano and electronics commissioned and performed by Michael Kieran Harvey (with financial assistance from the Australia Council and Arts Victoria).
Realising that he needed an ensemble that was more flexible and able to play in more of a variety of venues and branch out into other musical styles besides rarefied contemporary classical music, he drew on both his experiences in New York and his formative years as a pop musician to form May Dreamers and the Future Happines Orchestra with a new hope to realise his musical visions.
In recent years he has performed and recorded with Michael Kieran Harvey, Laura Jean, John Rodgers, Bucket Rider, Ross Mclennan, Sally Seltmann, Sailor Days, Grand Salvo, Lior, Wally D' Backer ( Gotye) Kes Band, Spiel Azoi, Adana, Bolt Ensemble, Dead Horse Ensemble, Libra Ensemble and many more.
He currently performs regularly with Ross Mclennans' New World Orchestra as the group promotes Mclennans new album 'The Nights Deeds are Vapour' .
'Light of the world' is a multi media modern rock opera currently in development by Mackerras. It was first perfomed by May Dreamers at Bar Open in Dec 2012 with films featuring images and written word from various spiritual texts also includued is performance artist 'The Ice Woman' creating effects including dry ice to go with the music.
The album will be recorded early 2013. And the performance piece will continue to be developed in conjunction with the release of the album.
In the last 10 years he has produced 3 albums of diverse cutting edge music.
As All the Heavens were a Bell and The Waves
"As always in Martin Mackerras’s music, the evocation of timelessness holds sway. The ocean’s forgotten depths and her shimmering, hopeful horizon are the dimensions of the human soul in its inner eternity, rising and sinking incessantly, the perpetual undulations resolving to the stillness of pure tone, as though the soul were a vibrating string…as though the soul were a lyre…The piano strives to become its entelechy, the lyre of waves. In the beginning was the ocean.
….Martin beholds the world with the untarnished wonder of a child who feels intuitively how in the ocean waves are not accidental transmissions of energy, but essential inner character. In this, ocean waves are like musical tones".Danaë Killian , writer and pianist
"Mackerras homes in on the extremes , the epiphany , the "total " energy. His clarinet improvisation is a frenzied vault at the physical extremes of the instrument, reaching out to a higher consciousness".
Harriet Cunnigham, Real Time
May Dreamers (existential pop music)