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Changing Ways (2020)

Flute and Piano


Built on a skipping and unpredictable accompaniment, this piece begins with dance-like grooves and soaring melodies, before exploring sharper melodic angles and harmony. Composed as a show-piece for the flautist, this work is very suitable for flute recitals of about AMEB grade 7 or 8 standard, as well as HSC performances.

Binary Ties (2020)

Chamber Ensemble (,, Strings:


*Commissioned by Ensemble Apex

Recorded for online release as part of Ensemble Apex's 2020 Digital Season


The title Binary Ties refers to the two melodic strands that weave around each other to form the foundation of this piece, and often develop into a twisted knot of musical lines. Furthermore, the juxtaposition of 'binary' (ie. divided) and 'ties' (ie. connected) alludes to the contrasts explored in this work; although the musical narrative is constantly unfolding, it always derives from unifying elements which are reimagined throughout the journey.

Imitations (2019)

Chamber Orchestra (,, - Perc. Hp. Pno., Strings:


This work is for a chamber orchestra that features one of each orchestral instrument. It explores how we constantly reflect those with whom we surround ourselves; we are naturally influenced by each other's body language, vocabulary and intonation, personality and values, etc. Hence, the musical lines often work in close canon between instruments, imitating each other to create dense and exciting textures. Furthermore, subtle stylistic references are introduced and combined to create a unique musical style, thus reflecting the process of finding one’s own voice as an emerging artist, and the importance of imitation to that process.

Propulsive Instability (2018)

Chamber Ensemble (,, Strings:


*Winner of Ensemble Apex's 2019 Call for Scores Competition

To be premiered by Ensemble Apex at THE WILD in December 2020

The title of this piece comes from the prominence of irregular metres throughout, and especially the use of irrational (or 'non-dyadic') time signatures, which have a distinct and fascinating stumbling or wonky effect on the music. However, this in no way slows the piece down - the complexity of this work showcases talented chamber groups through a whirlwind of exciting ideas that stem from Stravinskian rhythmic stabs.

Running, Thinking, Breathing (2016)

Clarinet Quartet


*Composed for The Clari Boys

Premiered at a student concert in 2016


This piece is about the connection between the body and mind through the act of running. It partly depicts the mental process we experience when beginning a physical challenge and pushing through to its end. However, it also investigates our ability to calm a busy mind through physical activities like running, by focussing on the fundamental processes of movement and breathing.

Twitch (2017)

Clarinet Quartet


*Composed for The Clari Boys

Premiered at 'What Could be Smetanin This?' in 2017


Twitch is about the unpredictable and irregular. It takes a small amount of musical material and presents it in many different ways, in order to surprise the listener's expectations. Recurring rhythmic and melodic cells are shifted and displaced, so motifs which appear to be familiar are actually unpredictable. This is loosely inspired by shifting patterns such as physical twitches and bird calls. The piece was composed to showcase a quartet's ensemble skills, hence, the syncopation and rhythmic unity in Twitch poses a real challenge to any quartet.

Flute Dance (2017)

Solo Flute


Premiered at 'What Could be Smetanin This?' in 2017


Flute Dance is a short, energetic piece which utilises the agility of the flute. Rather than conform to a fixed meter, it was composed using melodic and rhythmic cells which are presented, added together, repeated or rearranged. This piece was largely inspired by the dance music of Ross Edwards.

Expansion (2017)

Alto Saxophone and Electronics (Max Patch)


*Composed for Sam Weller

Premiered at Konzertprojekt’s ‘Light Qualities’ as part of Vivid 2019


Expansion takes the listener on a journey from acoustic sound into electroacoustic sound. Opening with an expressive solo saxophone, the electronics subtly begin to mimic the soloist and eventually form a flowing texture over which the saxophone explores playful melodies. The texture continues to expand throughout the piece, culminating in the final wash of shimmering electronic colours. 


A computer program combined with a keyboard pedal allows the soloist to trigger certain layers of the electronic audio in their own time. Using this method, the piece becomes a duet between the performer and the electronics, as they can play freely and cue each section at their own pace.

Prelude to Red Hill (2016)

Solo Piano


Recorded for digital release alongside poetry by photographs by David Malikoff and poetry by Hilary Elfick in 2016; performed by the composer


Prelude to Red Hill was composed to accompany images and poetry by David Malikoff and Hilary Elfick (respectively), based on the theme of 'bushfires'. It follows the life of a fire from first spark, to raging flames, to dying smoke.

Cookie Cutter (2018)

Trumpet in Bb, Trombone and Electronics (Max Patch)


Recorded for online release in 2018; performed by Alfie Carslake (trumpet) and Amy McCarthy (trombone)


A short piece in two sections; after a calm electronic texture is explored, similar melodic themes become complex, lively and rhythmic over constantly expanding chords in contrary motion.

A computer program combined with a keyboard pedal allows the soloist to trigger certain layers of the electronic audio in their own time. Using this method, the piece becomes a duet between the performer and the electronics, as they can play freely and cue each section at their own pace.

We Call B.S. (2018)

Open Instrumentation and Fixed Media


Premiered at Extended Play, August 2018

We Call B.S. addresses the issues of gun control in America and listening to young political voices. Inspired by a powerful speech by Emma González (a survivor of the Florida shooting in February, 2018), the pitch and rhythm of her words have been notated into a video-score. An ensemble of mixed instruments accompanies the speech, improvising with the precise rhythm and pitch-contour of each syllable. Essentially, the resulting cluster of sound intensifies the emotion in González's message by emphasising the shape of her speech. The improvisation in this piece is partly inspired by Louis Andriessen's Workers Union.

Earworm (2018)

Wind Quintet


*Recieved second place in Arcadia Winds' Composition Competition

Premiered by the Icarus Chamber Project on their 2019 regional NSW tour

Receiving second place in Arcadia Winds' 2018 Wind Quintet competition, this piece is an exciting modern twist on a theme and variations. Arcadia Winds has said, "We all loved how Ben took a simple idea and developed it with imagination and flair.” Subtitled Three Variations on a Three-Note Cell, this piece explores three different sound worlds, all of which feature quirky rhythms and intricate melodic interplay.

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© 2020 Ben Robinson