Communications & Media

PhD student's composition takes to an international sporting stage

A composition dedicated to the unsung heroes in elite sports led Conservatorium of Music PhD student Mia Palencia to an international sporting stage.

The Tasmanian-based student was invited to compose, produce and perform the opening night’s theme song for the recent Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.

“It was amazing and terrifying at the same time,” she said.

“It’s not every day that you get to perform in front of 87,000 people.”

The Southeast Asian Games hosted 11 nations in over 400 events from 19-30 August.

“Watching the ceremony unfold from backstage, and realising just how many people were involved in the production of the ceremony itself was very humbling,” Mia said.

Over the past year, Mia worked with a team of musicians, engineers and an orchestra in bringing her composition So Many Hands to life.

“The amazing team of musicians and engineers spanned three continents, including musicians and engineers in Hobart and Melbourne, traditional musicians in Malaysia and a studio orchestra in Bratislava,” she said.

Mia said acknowledging the enormous efforts an elite athlete’s support base provides inspired her composition.

“My main goal in writing the song was to inspire Malaysia,” she said.

“The production company that approached me (Enfiniti Vision Media) suggested the idea to celebrate the unsung heroes behind every athlete.

“Often when we watch sports as spectators, we are focussed on the game and the game players.

“The reality is that countless and tireless hours of training and many unseen faces would have supported the athlete over many years for them to arrive at that defining moment.

“This led me to the concept of So Many Hands as a reference to all the many hands that ‘carried’ the person to that moment when their dreams became possible.”

Conservatorium of Music Director Associate Professor Andrew Legg congratulated Mia on her achievement.

“I watched the event live, and was completely convinced that Mia’s performance was remarkable, totally inspiring and absolutely world-class,” he said.

Mia is currently undertaking a PhD in song writing at the University’s Conservatorium of Music in Hobart, where she is also composing the music for a new musical which will be staged in Kuala Lumpur next February.

Published on: 08 Sep 2017 8:44am