Wesley-Smith Martin, Australian composer and teacher; b. Adelaide, June 10, 1945. He was educated at the univs. of Adelaide (B.M., 1969; MM, 1971) and of York in England (Ph.D., 1974); his mentors in composition were Peter Tahourdin, Peter Maxwell Davies, Sandor Veress, and Jindrich Feld. In 1974 Wesley-Smith became a lecturer in electronic music at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, where he was senior lecturer in composition and electronic music from 1980; he was also a reader in composition at the Univ. of Hong Kong (1994-95). He was founder-director of watt, an electronic music and audio-visual performing group, with which he toured internationally; he was also founder-musical director of T.R.E.E. (Theatre Reaching Environments Everywhere). With Ian Fredericks, he organized the first computer music studio in mainland China in 1986. In 1987 he was the Australia Council’s Don Banks Composer Fellow. In his extensive output, Wesley-Smith follows an imaginative, eclectic course. While he has composed in most genres, he has gained particular notice for his effective computer and audio-visual works, finding particular inspiration in the writings of Lewis Carroll. Some of his works are overtly political.
dramatic: Pi in the Sky, children’s opera (1971); The Wild West Show, children’s music theater (1971); Machine, children’s music theater (1972); Boojum!, music theater (1985-86); Quito, audio-visual music theater (1994); Encountering Sono (Ch’ii Yuan Laments), radiophonie piece (1994). ORCH.: Interval Piece (1970); Hansard Music (1970); Sh... for Audience and Orch. (1973); Beta-Globin DNA 3 (1990). CHAMBER: Improvistions for Trumpet and Piano (1966); Tiger, Tiger for Violin Duet (1970); Doublets 2(a) for Saxophone, Tape, and Delay (1974), 2(d) for Trombone, Tape, and Delay (1987), and 2(e) for Clarinet, Tape, and Delay (1987); Dodgson’s Dream for Clarinet, Tape, and Transparencies (1979); Pat-a-Cake for Trombone and Tape (1980); For Marimba and Tape (1982); Doodles for Soloist and Tape (1983); For (Bass) Clarinet and Tape (1983); Snark-Hunting for Flute, Piano, Percussion, Cello, and Tape (1984); White Knight for Trombone, Marimba, and Tape (1984; also various other versions); Smudge (Malin 2) for MIDI Keyboard and Apple Macintosh Computer (1989); hex D2 for Percussion Quartet (1990); db for Flute, Clarinet, Piano, and Cello (1991); Visiting the Queen for Marimba and Yamaha Disklavier (1992); Balibo for Flute and Tape (1992). VOCAL: Gum Tears of an Arabian Tree for Tenor and Quintet (1966); 2 Shakespearean Songs for Chorus (1967); To Noddy-Man for High Voice and Piano Duet (1969); Doublets 2(b) for Countertenor, Tape, and Tape Delay (1974); Who Killed Cock Robin? for Chorus (1979); Lost in Space for Children’s Chorus and Orch. (1982); Songs for Snark- Hunter for Chorus and Piano (1985); Songs of Australia for Chorus, Piano, Percussion, and Tape (1988); Tianamen Square for Chorus (1989); Timor et Tremor, song cycle for Tenor, Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Cello, and Tape (1991); Flora, Fauna, and LORN A! for Vocal Sextet (1992). TAPE: Vietnam Image (1970); Media Music 1 (1972) and 2 (1973); Kdadalak (For the Children of Timor) for Tape and Transparencies (1977); Japanese Pictures for Tape and Transparencies (1981); Echoes and Star Tides for Tape and Transparencies (1981; in collaboration with I. Fredericks); Electronic Study 37(b) (1982); Dah Dit Dah Dah (1983; in collaboration with J. Piché and O. Shoji); Wattamolla Red for Tape and Transparencies (1983); VENCEREMOS! for Tape and Transparencies (1984); Snark-Hunting 2 for Tape and Transparencies (1986); Chi’il Yuan, By the Burning River (1988); Rabbit-Hole Music 1 and 2 (1990).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire