mount royal wildlife

Winner of our Inspo by Nature music competition

We are pleased to announce the winner of our recent ‘Inspo x nature’ music competition. This COVID lockdown competition invited NSW musicians to compose and record an original, short piece of music inspired by the natural setting at Callicoma Hill, in the northern mountains of the Hunter Valley.

The winner was Tristan Coelho, who composed a work for piano and harp, performed by himself and Emily Granger. His entry can be heard at
Tristan is excited to take up the prize of an artists’ retreat for a week at Callicoma Hill eco-cabin.

Tristan explains that his work “responds to photos of the beautiful surroundings near Callicoma Hill and incorporates a field recording of birdsong, which helped generate musical ideas. The work captures a sense of the vast, unfolding landscape. Bright, rich harmonies depict the colours of the sunset, while short, sharp flashes aim to highlight stars in the night sky. The beautiful and inviting walking trails brought about ideas of movement and travel; the music embraces this through more repetitive and flowing material.”

The judges said: “Beautiful textures and flowing rhythms... The underlying recorded bird song does not distract in anyway and blends beautifully. The piece feels like it does unfold and flow as suggested in the description. …. A high level of musicianship also evident….   It is a real contribution to nature inspired music. I feel there is much in the piece that evokes the landscape of Callicoma Hill, even more than the composer perhaps realised.”

The judges highly commended a piano composition by Daniel Berry, who cleverly based his composition on a short phrase sung by a lyrebird recorded in Mt Royal National Park, close to Callicoma Hill. This five note phrase, and Daniel’s subsequent composition can be heard at

The inspirational beauty of natural areas in the Hunter Valley is something to be celebrated, and all the competition entrants did this wonderfully in their compositions.

We would like to give our thanks to the other entrants in our competition, and our special thanks to our panel of judges for reviewing the competition entries and selecting a worthy winner. 

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