With more than a dozen CDs to her name, Jeanell Carrigan's dedication to recording the works of our contemporary composers is impressive. In 2012, the AMC released Narratives and Detours. Now comes A Little Variation, a CD that explores the variation form through works by Robert Davidson, Michael Hannan, Mark Isaacs, Justin McKay, John Polglase and Peter Webb.
Carrigan writes in her program note:
'Variation form, one of the very basic structures of so much Western music, has the inherent qualities of unity and familiarity while at the same time creativity and inventiveness can find free range. To take a theme and apply a series of variations to that theme has been used by countless composers and has been a means of demonstrating amazing skill in the variation process. The variation concept is also the basis of ground bass, passacaglia, chaconne, and most jazz music is structured around a basic pattern of "theme and variations".'
'My fascination with the compositional process used in varying a theme has led to an exploration of how contemporary Australian composers deal with this form. All of the composers whose works appear on the recording treat the traditional "theme and variations" in their unique way, incorporating into the form their own voice and compositional style. Although the collection of pieces on this recording is not exhaustive of all the works written by contemporary Australian composers using this medium, it still demonstrates a variety of methods and styles."