Robert Davidson Composer



Robert Davidson’s music is most often focused on telling stories, especially using recorded speech and its inherent melody, but also through using aspects of many genres freely combined. His quintet Topology is very interested in collaborating without worrying about style boundaries. Such an attitude attracted him to study with Terry Riley before spending a year in India studying the rich dance-drama traditions of Kerala.

Robert also tours widely as a bassist and as a lecturer. He teaches at the University of Queensland, after years as an orchestral bassist. He writes a lot of music for Topology, but is also always at work on string quartets, orchestral music, film scores, choral music and much more.

Some positive press

★★★★★ - The Guardian UK

“A composer of extraordinary talent - the leading composer of his generation” - Terry Riley (composer)

“I very much like Robert Davidson’s music” - Steve Reich (composer)

“Dynamic” - The New York Times

on Stalin’s PIano

“This multimedia work was a hit at Canberra’s 2017 International Music Festival and has continued to gather acclaim in subsequent performances. It’s not difficult to see why….unfailingly expressive music.”
– The Adelaide Advertiser

Critics on The Singing Politician:

“A fascinating and artistically absorbing musico-political event”
– Limelight Magazine

It is simultaneously quite serious, quite moving and absolutely hilarious”
– James Morrison

Review by Vincent Plush, The Australian, 5 August 2017
”In recent years Robert Davidson, the genial genius behind Topology, the Brisbane-based crossover ensemble, has mined the sound archives of our history to capture memorable moments and reconfigure them as music…a couple of tracks are already justly famous. Gough Whitlam’s dismissal oration — “Well may we say God save the Queen” — resurfaces as a waltz in D flat. Julia Gillard’s misogyny fusillade becomes an operatic aria. The most memorable track is the choral setting of Noel Pearson’s eulogy to Whitlam. Deeply moving, The Reward for Public Life is one of the few tracks that almost transcends politics. Also remarkable still is the electronic transformation of Kevin Rudd’s famous We Apologise speech, where those two simple yet potent words, so long in coming, are stretched over nearly seven minutes, like the drones of indigenous music floating over a desert landscape. Davidson’s inventive wit and boundless technique are exploited”

On Topology:

“Topology are the most creative and important composers of contemporary music in Australia today,” - Christopher Lawrence, ABC Classic FM

“One of the highlights of our recent Australian trips has been or collaboration with Topology. Rarely does one come across a group who can all write brilliantly and cross musical divides effortlessly. They are a refreshingly inventive and innovative team and its been a pleasure to work with them. Queensland is clever to look after them; what a base they have in the amazing Powerhouse and an unbeatable mentor in Andrew Ross.”
Paul Cassidy, The Brodsky Quartet