THE North East of Victoria is home to a plethora of highly creative people who have showcased their art, stories or music locally, across Australia and all over the world.
Talented composer and classically trained pianist Emili Rackemann is one such artist who has nine albums and more than 140 compositions to her credit.
Emili grew up on a 25,000 acre cattle property in central Queensland, but has now called Bright home for a little over a decade.
“The cattle property was near Marlborough although I moved to South East Queensland upon being accepted into the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University in Southbank (Brisbane),” Emili said.
“I studied a Bachelor of Music in classical performance at the Conservatorium after finishing my Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) grades in classical piano.”
Having grown up in a rural environment, Emili finds being surrounded by the natural world inspiring.
“It allows me the space to be creative and, given I am quite sensitive to energy, I enjoy a lot of solitude along with the natural surroundings that this valley offers.
“Nature always provides space for the imagination which I absolutely love.”
Emili’s musical career opportunities brought her (much) further south to Melbourne before she and her husband relocated to Bright in 2011 where she continues to compose her own music, study and teach.
“I teach piano and music composition privately to 32 students and in 2018 I decided to return to university to study Music Technology to expand my skills in music production,” Emili said.
“Once I have completed that course, I will continue on to study a PhD in Music Composition through the University of New England.”
Emili also has a strong interest in vibrational therapy and recently completed a Diploma in Sound Therapy.
“I find this modality is complimentary to composition and performance, in that it enables me to fulfil my interest in the wellness industry while also working with sound in a very unique and powerful way,” she said.
In 2021, Emili was a Top 10 Finalist in the Cum Laude Music Awards (Spain) for solo piano composition and received an Honourable mention out of 94 Australian composers for her original classical piano composition ‘Dance of Telestas’ in Composing the Future, which was part of the Sydney International Piano Competition.
In May this year, the world premiere of Emili’s harp solo composition ‘Solstice in Spain’ was performed during the International Composers Festival (UK) by Huw Boucher, a student at the Royal Academy of Music in London who also studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama department.
Although Emili is classically trained as a pianist, she works with a vast selection of instruments and programs, particularly when composing film music.
“I am currently composing my new classical piano album although over the last 18 months I worked on the release of my recent album called Meraki.
“In addition to composition, I’ve also been working on producing an electronic music album under the name Persia Grey which has been a great outlet for songwriting.
“While I love classical, I equally love electronic and dance music.
“Musical genres are all interconnected in many ways, despite ‘sounding’ worlds apart.”
Emili said she doesn’t have a particular favourite piece she has written given that each composition tells its own story.
“I appreciate them all, but that said, perhaps the favourite of the month is ‘Dance Of Telestas’, given the time and creative energy it took to compose and record.”
“It’s very classical which I love.”
Dance Of Telestas is more than nine minutes long and is an excellent example of a classical piece starting off at a joyous pace with expertly quick finger work before slowing as though leading you into the calm before the storm; with melodic and gentle toning.
As the deep notes combine perfectly with higher ones, you will feel them squarely in your chest or stomach; a sense of sorrow or reflection making you stop and really listen, think and wonder at where your emotions will be taken next.
With the almost frantic return of pace, dancing up and down the scales, it is hard to catch your breath, although Emili brings you to the end of the journey with a wish that there was another nine minutes of wonder to enjoy.
While Emili’s focus over the next 18 months will be on her upcoming album releases and expanding her catalogues ready for when opportunities arise in film, she will be holding a number of recitals in the North East later in 2023.
“Given a lot of time goes into composition, teaching and studies, I will mainly be focused on those things, however I do plan to do another regional tour in 2024 after the recitals late next year.”
To keep up to date with the recitals, tour and what else Emili is up to, you can visit her website at www.emilirackemann.com or follow her on social media at @emilirackemann on Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud.
Additionally, you can view the Solstice in Spain performance at youtube.com/watch?v=aGxGhVDNMvw, listen to Meraki on Spotify at open.spotify.com/album/5GnYlH9ZrIxaH6pFZTEHXO or listen to Dance Of Telestas at soundcloud.com/emilirackemann/dance–of–telestas.