I work as a composer, musician and a performer in theatre, film, television and radio and the contemporary dance music scene. My pages will give you a taste of my work, an insight into my background and the workings of my mind!!
"Music to me is a perfect expression of the force that binds us all together. It goes beyond the boundaries of race, belief and culture.
I want my work to be accessible. Perhaps this is why my career has been so varied. I have played in rock bands, cabarets and film soundtracks, in sensory deprivation tanks and music therapy for the handicapped.
I feel that we are developing an Australian sound, which is dictated not by the laws of the music industry but by the uniqueness of the Australian land."
"A dynamic, radiant performer" "Yantra has a five star general's command of the situation - a star in the making that one." Sydney Morning Herald
"There was a cat like grace as she moved between her synthesisers and piano. Her eyes that go on forever were not lost on the audience." RAM
"Versatility is the mark of her energetic performance." Daily Mirror
"By this time next year, Yantra de Vilder could be a household name." Financial Review
"There is almost an indefinable quality about her work that people have noticed ever since her first public performance." RAM
If you ever go out or own a TV set, you have most certainly heard Yantra de Vilder's music. Prolific is perhaps the best word." Sonics Music magazine
"Perhaps the best way to describe my composition is eclectic, post modern, world fusion. I work with trance music, techno music, orchestral funk, contemporary songs and contemporary classical. I have no rules about what I play and what I combine to create a work.
The state of the art technology that I have to play with just keeps getting better every day. My life very much revolves around my recording studio in the rainforest, the heart of which is my ASR10 sampler. This wonderful bit of technology allows me to dive into what ever world I choose through its ability to sample sound. If I need to do a film soundtrack using the sounds of nature, I simply program them into the sampler and let their timber, pitch and rhythm dictate the sonority of the piece.
I write music for film, radio, theatre, dance and multimedia events. I love the challenge of evoking a particular time, place or feeling through my music. Through my sampler I can access sounds and atmospheres from different lands and cultures. The sounds themselves are the direction for my music. They are my allies in the field of composition. I am not only able to work with conventional musical instrumentation, but also with any sound that I hear. Whether it be in nature or on an industrial building site, frogs in a pond at midnight or a busy Asian market, any sound can be part of the orchestra that I use in my music composition.
The photograph to the right is from an outdoor multimedia event called "Homage to the elements". A community art project staged on a great headland, the Scillion , north of Sydney, "Homage to the elements" was a huge production of light, sound, dance and community art. The fireworks pictured were part of the grand finale. I composed music for this project.
I also have a wealth of knowledge available to me from the history of music and many more sounds from the myriad of beautiful acoustic instrumentation from all over the world. My particular leanings for using acoustic instrumentation have been geared towards those instruments which have an archetypal sound, sound that carries a mythology with it. For example the hidden mysteries of the east are implied with the use of the tabla, tamboura, sitar and santor. The magic of the celtic mists is plucked on the harp and the regal classicism of the grand piano always evokes a certain majesty in a composition.
I specialise however in music with a distinctly Australian flavour. I have built up a vast library of natural sounds including a unique collection of frogs, crickets and waterfalls and characteristic Australian sounds such as kookaburras, currawongs and didgeridoos.
I can score and orchestrate an entire work using my computer music programs but I also enjoy working with and conducting a live orchestra or choir. The largest choir I have ever worked with was The Combined Churches 700 piece Choir which I conducted in Handel's " Messiah' .
I have include some short samples of some of my work within these pages.
I began playing at the age of five on the family piano. It was love at first sight! I studied classical piano and violin. My education in the Rudolph Steiner system placed strong emphasis on creativity and spirituality. This had a powerful influence on my musical development. My parents were also most encouraging. We would often have chamber music evenings in the home. I frequently remember being serenaded to sleep by my mother's piano playing.
I play the harp, piano, keyboards, percussion and guitar. I program my music using Cubase with a variety of sound modules and the VS-880 hard disk recorder.
My twin brother is an accomplished tabla player and drummer and we work together on many occasions exploring an interesting blend of musical styles, incorporating the acoustic sounds of the East with modern western music technology and instrumentation.
After establishing my career in the music industry I realised that I wanted to develop my composition skills and specialise in conducting and orchestration. I completed a degree in Composition in Contemporary Music at Southern Cross University in Lismore. I found the beauty of the surrounding Northern Rivers most inspiring, and have chosen to locate my home and studio in the hills of Byron Bay.
The Power of Sound
As a musician I am awed by the responsibility that I have in dealing with a medium that has such a power on the human physiology and psyche.
I'm working on techno-trance music right now and that describes my space pretty well.... Trance has a depth and a thudding relentlessness which is the Shaman's drum. It leads you on a journey. That's why it's so hypnotic.... the constant kick is the Shaman's drum, played over and over again in a highly orchestrated way. Drumming up a ritual, serving as the vehicle for transportation of the consciousness to the Place of Power for the Journeyer. There is an incredibly powerful sub culture that is emerging in the adolescent age group, that of 'Trance Raves'. All over the world, these raves are drumming up huge, huge rituals and the kids are taking LSD and other mind altering drugs and they're going right out there. This is seen, by some people, as a hedonistic unconscious iconoclast to the dying of a culture, a Sodom and Gommorah. Viewed in other light these events are a powerful statement of the need for initiatory rites of passage within a society. If we look back to the days of Egypt a compulsory part of their community was for everyone to undergo a Rite of Passage throughout the night, led by the priests, with the aid of certain elixirs obtained from the blue lotus. Looking also at other cultures, the Vikings, the Druids, the Aboriginals, the Native American Indians, the Aztecs, the Mexican Nagual Sorcerers, we see that people within all of these cultures were given a strong sense of their belonging and "place in the scheme of things" through these group journeys of discovery.
I see the trance raves as the rites of passage that our teenagers have created for themselves. I like to make music for that sort if thing... it's good... pounding the feet, kicking up the dust on the earth, healing the earth with sound. And I feel that it's very important that we're clear with our intention when we're drumming up a sacred space.
This brings me to the power of music and sound on the human physiology. In our modern times we have the power to subjectively analyze the effects of music on the brain waves through EEG machines.There is already a growing market in the use of tapes which promote Theta waves, those found to be predominant in Buddhist monks who had spent years meditating.
I am keenly interested in this subject as a musician because I would like to use my musical gifts as a healing tool. The fact that so many people are gathering in one place to take mind altering drugs and be totally engulfed in a wall of sound ( the PA systems used at these raves are huge) would indicate that something that is happening here is wanted by a large part of our society. So I am aiming to produce music for these events that I know has a healing transformational quality.
The youth of today are at a pivotal point as far as their heritage of this earth goes. It is our responsibility as custodians of this modern and yet ancient culture to offer them the right information. Music is one of the most powerful tools to do this.
I write and perform contemporary songs as well as instrumental pieces. I have travelled in Australia and Europe working in bands as a keyboard player and vocalist. I love making music that people like dancing to, music that makes them feel good. To me song and dance is what binds a community together. It is the magic of the times, without which we would be a lost race.
Bands that I have worked in include:
- Do Re Mi
- Die Laughing
- Surrender Dorothy
- Wicked Smile
- Stephen Cummings
Currently I am working on an an album of original songs with my partner Cassandra Moreau in the Sheba project.
Music theatre performance has been another whole strand of my performing career. I am particularly interested in incorporating live music within a multimedia production, that includes dancers, actors and visual arts.
Music theatre performance.
I have worked a lot as a composer and a performer in music theatre. My current music theatre project is a multi-media 'tour de force' called 'The Rites of Passage'. This is a pioneering project in a field which is still in the early stages of development, the use of multi-media in a theatrical context. The performance is concerned with the Rites of Passage that mark the evolution of a civilisation. I am attempting to provide more than entertainment, I am endeavouring to touch a chord in the audience to remind us of who we are, where we are and where we are going. I am appealing to the part in our culture that places theatre in the context of a significant community institution. The subject matter is innovative and provocative.
While I was travelling in New York and Europe I dsicovered an abundance of free cultural activities in areas of great natural beauty. When I got back to Australia I created Ambitheatre. This was a series of free Sunday afternoon events that we staged in Centenial Park and Darling Harbour in Sydney as a showcase for young Australian composers. The Ambitheatre music could be classified as 'world music' and includes ambient, trance, ethnic,and jazz fusion. The project was funded by the Ministry of the Arts. I am currently working on a similar project in the Byron Bay area.
If you are interested in my track record, some of my work to date includes
- Detours- Australian Dance Theatre
- Robyn Archer's Scandals-Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide
- Whore in a Madhouse- Belvior St Theatre
- Musical Director Theatre Sports- Belvoir St Theatre
- Ha Ha Ha Performing Humans- Belvoir St Theatre
- Savannah Bay- Belvoir St Theatre
- The Real Matilda- Starring Lynette Curren
- The Mysteries of Isis- Southern Cross University
- Homage to the Environment- Terrigal Scillion Outdoor Event
- Ascent to Atlantis - Sydney Festival
- Plays of Pure Land - Melbourne Spoleto Festival
- Life on Mars - Sailors Home The Rocks
- The Blind Giant is Dancing written by Steven Sewell for ATC
- Children of War - Perth Theatre company
- Holographic Tendencies- Sydney Opera House
- Omnipresence-International Whale & Dolphin Conference
Film & TV.
When I compose music for film I am creating an atmosphere, evoking a certain mood or feeling. Writing music for a visual medium is a highly challenging and rewarding job as I can blend the two worlds of sound and sight together. I have a particular interest in working on nature documentaries as I have a vast library of natural sounds. Living and working in the rainforest I feel strongly attuned to the environment.
One of my recent film scores was for 'The Last Whale' directed by David Bradbury. It incorporates music from Yothu Yindi, John Farnham, Olivia Newton John and Midnight Oil. David's work in exposing political corruption and environmental destruction is strongly aligned with my own personal politics. Some of my other film projects include the music for
- Loggerheads by David Bradbury (ABC TV)
- Africa High and Wild - Beyond productions, Channel 9 Australia, Discovery Channel USA
- Oceania for Channel 10 Network
- Brushes with Fame for ABC TV
- Invisible people for SBS TV
- Tall Poppies, Strawberry Girl and Sweet and Sour for ABC TV
- Shoalwater Up for Grabs - Narrated by Peter Garrett
- Coolangatta Gold-Michael Edgely
- The Moat - Directed by Jocelyn Moorehouse
- and The Battle for Byron - Directed by David Bradbury.
My music is featured on the recent ABC Music CD "Dusk". I also write for Image Music (Melbourne) who have released two CD's of my film library music. Click here for samples.
Sound Samples & Lyrics.
To give you a taste of some of my work here a few sound samples from my Film Library CD's.
Each sound sample is available in AIFF or WAV format. If you are not sure of the difference between AIFF and WAV or how to get configured to download sound files then read our sound info page. You can also hear some of my music in Real Audio format by clicking here
Once you have downloaded a couple of samples you can set them running in a sequence. You can do this off-line or in the background while you carry on surfing.
Ocean Lullaby (from the CD Oceania)
Falling Deeper (from the CD Dramatic Images)
Descent to Atlantis (also from Dramatic Images)
Ode to a Dying Planet There is a voice from a quiet earth
Crying out to be heard
The comfort of my slumber
Keeps me safe and warm
The screaming of the wind The cracking of the mud Her mouth lies open
Parched and bare
None dare to walk there
All signs of life extinct
A broken shell of dreams
A castle in the sand that the tide has swept away
Leaving a faint glow
And a low hum
A memory of yesterday
A prophesy of now
I can hear the horses hooves galloping
carrying messages of hope
The beating of young hearts
As they look upon this wasteland called "Life"
I climb the mountain of hope
I sit on my fortress of trust
I look down upon the rivers of clay
The forests of decay
The fires are burning
Their flames splintering into the night
All signs of life walk this way
Walk without a trace
Leave only a fragrance as you kiss the earth with your feet
As you caress the air with your skin
Lest you fall
Lest we forget
In memory of those who once walked Planet Earth
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