Daniel Portelli artist-academic (sound, music intermedia)

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Bio

Dr Daniel Portelli is a composer, sound artist, practice-based researcher, lecturer in music composition at Western Sydney University (WSU) and the University of New England (UNE). He is a Badugulang Fellow, and an Associate Fellow with the Advanced Higher Education Academy. Recent publications include Leonardo Music Journal, ADSR Zine, and the Journal of Embodied Research. He is an alumnus of the Centre for Research in New Music at the University of Huddersfield (UK), where he was awarded a PhD in composition. He makes sound installations, video essays, and acoustic/ electroacoustic music that has performed by a range of new music ensembles and soloist around the world. He is also a peer assessor for the Australia Council for the Arts, working as an Industry Advisor for experimental, contemporary classical music, and the cross-disciplinary arts. 


Long bio

Daniel Portelli (he/him) is a composer / sound artist from Darug Country who now lives and works on Gadigal Country. He is an alumnus of the Centre for Research in New Music at the University of Huddersfield (United Kingdom), and was awarded a PhD in composition with principal supervisor Professor Liza Lim and co-supervisor Professor Peter Ablinger. He works as a unit coordinator and casual lecturer in music at Western Sydney University (WSU) and is a Badugulang Fellow and an Associate Fellow with the Advanced Higher Education Academy. His music has been performed by a range of new music ensembles and soloist around the world, such as Tracensemble, Peyee Chen, Diego Castro Magaš, Soundstream Collective, Gabriella Smart, Adelaide Philharmonic Choir, The Music Box Project, Vertixe SonoraTwo New Duo, the Melbourne Symphony OrchestraTamara Anna CislowskaESMUC Ensemble, Ensemble New Babylon, Claire Edwardes, Liu Ying, and by a robotic piano named RHEA. He is also a peer assessor for the Australia Council for the Arts, working as an Industry Advisor for experimental/contemporary classical music, and the cross-disciplinary arts. He exhibited a sound art installation, Water Pail, at World Square, Sydney, in the Now You Hear Her festival. He guest lectured at the University of Sydney about his artistic research in 2018. And in 2020 gave a webinar about ‘Cultural resilience in a time of crisis’ at WSU. He was the winner of the Winston Music ECF commission where he wrote a new work for choir and ensemble, conducted by Warwick Stengårds (Opera Australia).

His artistic work prioritises collaboration, interdisciplinary and experimental arts practices where he often works with divergent approaches to notational systems. These novel methodologies invite performers and audiences to open up their senses and engage in a process where music and dance are intertwined as undifferentiated practices. His music involves a particulate instrumental vocabulary with interweaving lines of granulations, microtonality, the use of found objects, instrument building, critical and experimental score-based practices, heterotopic couplings, and theatricality. His recent artistic interest examines the relationship between composition/performance with cinematic art ideas and techniques, along with the ecological and social, and its relation to the cognitive sciences, higher order modes of learning, and philosophy of mind.

His work has featured on multiple playlists by Making Waves, a monthly curated series that features Australian art music. He has a journal article published with the prestigious Leonardo Music Journal and MIT Press entitled Music gesture and correspondence of lines: collaborative video mediation and methodology, which draws a relationship between music gesture, anthropology, lines, correspondence, and his recent developments in video scoring technology. He published an article in ADSR Zine edition 013 called Music in Impossible Spaces about virtual heterotopias, the spaces of dreams, decorporalised music, and a muse on our inner imaginary sonic experiences. ADSR Zine won the award for Excellence in Experimental Music for their 2021 activities, which included this work. ‘His video-essay ‘What the River Doesn’t Say About Itself’ was published in the Journal of Embodied Research for their special issue on Ecologies of Embodiment, 2022. A co-composition with mangroves and with members of The Music Box Project  who preform on small boats. He also has a peer-reviewed article published about his quasi-musical theatre work Mapping Australia (2014) – which is a critical look at Australia’s cartography practices from the 1960s with deeper cultural connotations and reflections (see the fifth issue of the CeReNeM Journal (UK)).

Portelli was involved in the Composition Beyond Music workshop established by composer Peter Ablinger, where he exhibited an interactive video/sound installation at ESC gallery in Graz, Austria as part of Impuls Music Academy. In 2020, he created an imaginary sound art series where one of the pieces involves internalising a graphic score (see Dream recorder). He is also working with anonymous dream stories taken from the COVID on MIND and Pandemic Dreams research studies to develop a new ensemble piece about our connection to whales and oceanographic change (commissioned by Ensemble New Babylon, Bremen, Germany). He was a composer in residence in a 16-week multi-art-form collaboration for a library in Western Sydney. And in 2014, he represented Australia as the Young Composer Representative at the Asian Music Festival in Tokyo and Yokohama. His music is published to a CD called ‘Playing with Fire’ released under the label Wirripang Media Pty. Ltd, as part of a series of electro-acoustic compositions performed by highly acclaimed Australian pianist Tamara Anna Cislowska.

'Memory Tape' rehearsals with Two New Duo, 2016.
Exhibition for 21C Grapefruit 'text score annotations', Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
Exhibition for 21C Grapefruit, overtone piece, Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
Video Essay: What the River Doesn't Say About Itself
'Supralateral' score excerpt, performed by Vertixe Sonora
Tracensemble rehearsals 'A Sense of Space'
Exhibition for 21C Grapefruit 'text score annotations', Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
Video essay, Journal of Embodied Research
Video essay: 'What the River Doesn't Say About Itself'
Mutual entanglements in collaboration  article with the Australian Music Centre (AMC)
PhD thesis, Huddersfield University
'Composition Beyond Music' workshop, Graz Australia
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
'Water Pail' video excerpt
CeReNeM Journal
'Ontogeny' for piccolo and electronics
Text scores, music for dreams exhibition, Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
'Copy-make' video art installation in Graz, Austria
'Ontogeny' graphic score excerpt
From Leonardo Music Journal 'Music gesture and the correspondence of lines: Collaborative video mediation and methodology'
Video essay: What the River Doesnt Say About Itself
'Memory tape', performance
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Leonardo Music Journal publication
'Mapping Australia', Critical Cartography, Counter-mapping and aesthetics, in support of decolonial research and perspectives
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Video essay: What the river doesnt say about itself
A whale ear bone, from the piece 'Whale Fall'
Rehearsals of Adelaide Choir 'Animal', with video score
Music in Impossible Spaces. Published in ADSR Zine 013
Percussion part for 'Water Pail', a video and sound installation, in World Square, Sydney.
'Mapping Australia' video score title
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Journal of Embodied Research
'Mapping Australia' video score: Critical Cartography, Counter-mapping
'Whale Fall' video art excerpt
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Video essay: 'What the River Doesn't Say About Itself'
Video essay: 'What the River Doesn't Say About Itself'
Rehearsals of Adelaide Choir 'Animal', with video score
Text scores, music for dreams exhibition, Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
21c Grapefruit exhibition showing
Video essay: 'What the River Doesn't Say About Itself'
Video essay: 'What the River Doesn't Say About Itself'
Video essay: 'What the river doesn't say about itself'
in rehearsals for music for libraries commission
'Whale Fall' performance in Bremen, Germany
Conceptual framework for the piece 'Mapping Australia'
'Water Pail' video promotion
Video essay: 'Copy-make' composition beyond music
Exhibition for 21C Grapefruit, Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
Vertixe Sonora ensemble 'supralateral' promotion
'The Three Ecologies' score excerpt
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Video essay: 'What the River Doesn't Say About Itself'
'Mapping Australia' graphic score
Exhibition for 21C Grapefruit 'text score annotations', Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
Score excerpt of 'Dream recorder', part of the 'music for dreams' series
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
'Serpentine' for erhu and percussion
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
'Hyperbodies', robotic piano piece
'Copy-make' video art installation
21c Grapefruit exhibition
Video essay: 'What the River Doesn't Say About Itself'
'Animal' graphic video score
A score made using key shapes
Guitar 'fretlets' from the piece 'Supralateral' performed by Vertixe Sonora
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Ludwig Van (1969) - Mauricio Kagel
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Music for flute, graphic score
Rehearsals with Adelaide Choir, 'Animal' with video score
'Mapping Australia' video score: Critical Cartography, Counter-mapping
Ear fungus - excerpt from video essay: What the River Doesn't Say About Itself
Video essay: 'What the River Doesn't Say About Itself'
Ensemble New Babylon 'Whale Fall' concert
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Exhibition flyer for 21C Grapefruit,Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
Music in Impossible Spaces: short video-text scores
Poster for 'Whale Fall' performance in Bremen, Germany.
Lines
Whale Fall score excerpt
'Lines of Fragmentation' concert, ESMUC Ensemble L’Auditori in Barcelona, Spain
Water Pail sound Installation: conference: Memory, Raw Materiality and Transformation: Fracturing Through Hybridity of Experience as Authenticity.
'Hyperbodies' robotic piano workshop
Cover: Leonardo Music Journal 'Music gesture and the correspondence of lines: Collaborative video mediation and methodology'
Project muse publication
Exhibition for 21C Grapefruit 'text score annotations', Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
Transducer inside a water pail, part of a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Graphic score of 'Whale Fall'
Copy-Make, video gestural score
'Hyperbodies' robotic piano piece
composer / sound and intermedia artist, Daniel Portelli
'Mapping Australia' video score: Critical Cartography, Counter-mapping
Program notes of 'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Journal of Embodied Research: Ecologies of Embodiment: video essays II
'Mapping Australia' conceptual diagram
'Whale fall' performance, Bremen, Germany, Ensemble New Babylon
Tracensemble performance of 'A Sense of Space'
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Text scores, music for dreams exhibition, Sydenham International, ADSR Zine.
'Mapping Australia' performance with video score
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
'The Three Ecologies', three probabilistic clouds, k-core
Robotic piano workshop: Peter Ablinger
Collection of found objects for an experimental sound art workshop, Carriageworks, 2020
'Music in Impossible Spaces' part of the 'music for dreams' series
Whale Fall score excerpt
Exhibition for 21C Grapefruit,Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
Open Library of Humanities. Ecologies of Embodiment: video essays II
PhD Graduation, Huddersfield University, 2017
'A Sense of Space' score excerpt
Video essay: Music on boats: Journal of embodied research
Exhibition for 21C Grapefruit 'text score annotations', Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
Rehearsals with Adelaide Choir, 'Animal' with video score
Hong kong water famine, as part of 'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Leonardo Music Journal article Daniel Portelli
'Mangrove with lines' process diary from video essay: What the River Doesn't Say About Itself
'Water Pail', a video and sound installation exhibited in World Square, Sydney, 2021
Exhibition for 21C Grapefruit 'text score annotations', Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
Program notes for 21C Grapefruit exhibition, Sydenham International, ADSR Zine
Talk: Culture in a time of crisis: Critical Cartography, Counter-mapping and aesthetics, in support of decolonial research and perspectives
'Memory Tape' score excerpt; higher order of phrases
'Animal' graphic video score
'Supralateral' atmospheric halo microtones video art
Rehearsals: 'A Sense of Space'
'Memory Tape' rehearsals with Two New Duo, 2016.

I pay respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, their ancestors, the elders past and present from the different First Nations across the country. Sovereignty was never ceded. It always was always will be Aboriginal land. I acknowledge the importance of connection to land, culture, spirituality, ancestry, family and community for the wellbeing of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families.

First nations flags

I am committed to inclusion and actively supporting people, social movements, and organisational initiatives that drive gender and cultural equity. I support marginalised and underrepresented groups who are unfairly disadvantaged by the economic and social inequalities in our society, especially those that result from intergenerational trauma, this includes people of colour, the LGBTQIA+ community, women, neurodiverse people, people living with a disability, migrants, refugees, First Nations people, culturally and linguistically diverse people, the elderly, and intersectionality. I am open to listen, to learn, to self reflect, to take a supportive role, to be an ally in solidarity, and work towards breaking down social and systemic barriers. Please consider the following:

Water Pail
Water Pail, sound installation, World Square, 2021

Dream Recorder (2020) – score excerpt

Copyright © 2024

Composer / Sound and intermedia artist
Daniel Portelli 

On the unceded lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation