An unheard score and the story behind it from the archives of Melbourne based composer Jeanette Little.

“I wrote Delilah eight years ago, when I was a music student studying composition, for the Australian cellist Judith Hamann. She’s now one of the world’s foremost contemporary-music cellists. “ image1.jpeg

“I found Judith unique and inspiring as a performer. As well as classical music, she has a practice in improvisation and experimental music through working with artists like The Necks, Oren Ambarchi, La Monte Young and John Zorn. The way she works is very collaborative and I felt she could teach me things about the cello that were unconventional in classical repertoire.” image2-437e48.jpg

“Also, as a composition student, I was geeking out hard on the graphic scores of Earl Brown and John Cage, which evolved in the 1950s. I felt restricted by the rules of traditional notation (the five line staff). A graphic score seemed to free things up and could leave elements like pitch up to the performer’s interpretation. image3-883725.jpg

Delilah, as the name suggests, is about sweetness, passion and deceit. The piece is kind of in limbo between pitch and noise. There’s an unpredictable array of noises, overtones and harmonics the cello glides over. A fun exercise exploring the instrument’s timbral richness.”- Jeanette Little


Jeanette Little is a Melbourne based composer and musician focusing on contemporary classical and electronic music. Formerly working in music supervision for brands like Stella McCartney, Gucci and Issey Misake she now presents the show Slime on London’s NTS Radio and recently completed a residency at the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio with audio-visual artist Robin Fox.

Images, score and story: Jeanette Little

Editor: Laila Sakini