SMUDGE MUSIC is me, Ruth Lee Martin, and this site set up to allow people to listen to my compositions and get in touch with me. I am a Canberra-based composer with a background university training and teaching experience in both composition and musicology. I have composed for a wide range of instruments – from solo works to works for orchestra. I am a represented composer with the Australian Music Centre and you will find me listed there, although my bibliography is sadly out-of-date! You can find my scores there, as well as in the National Library of Australia.
Highlights of my compositional life include composing for the Australian Parliament House‘s 20th birthday celebrations and speaking with its amazing architect, Romaldo Giurgola. The symbolism embedded in the building is fascinating. I was honoured to have a section of my composition performed at APH in 2016 at Romaldo’s memorial service. A big thank you to the Elektra String Quartet. You can listen to the composition on the Music page.
Another highlight was being awarded an ACT Creative Arts Fellowship that allowed me time to compose a set of sacred choral works that were performed and recorded by the wonderful voices of Trinity Choir, Melbourne. A big thanks to Michael Leighton Jones and Phillip Nicholls for their support. My Nunc Dimittis was played at my father’s funeral and has always been a
Working with the talented Halcyon ensemble in Sydney was also a fantastic experience. I set poet Kevin Hart’s evocative Wimmera poems for the ensemble Halcyon. It was such an inspiring experience working with such great musicians as we fine-tuned this compositional cycle. the Wimmera Song Cycle was performed at Carriage Works in Sydney some years ago and composer Ross Edwards came up
Lately, I’ve been focusing on composing music for
Currently, we’re working another project about the new ways in which families are being constructed and defined – watch this space!
I’m also a writer currently completing two books that couldn’t be more different – at least on the surface. One is on Scots Gaelic song written in Australia and how music helps recreate home – the other is a mystery novel set on a migrant ship in the 1960s.
A big shout out to Canberra photographer (and husband), Bradley Cummings, for his fabulous photos.