Mandy Macdonald

Mandy Macdonald

Mandy Macdonald is an Australian writer and musician who has lived in Aberdeen since 1992. Her lifelong interest in both early music and the avant-garde dates from her time as a student at Sydney University. She has a diploma in music from the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology (now Anglia Ruskin University), which included both acoustic and electronic composition. She performed Karlheinz Stockhausen's Stimmung at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, in 1978, and various pieces from Stockhausen's two collections of intuitive music, Aus den sieben Tagen and Für kommende Zeiten, together with other avant-garde works, in Scotland with Mars in Aquarius (2015-16).

As a member of Intuitive Music Aberdeen Mandy has contributed to the group's collective compositions such as Cirrus and stars, Economic Suite, and Carrots, performed at the launch of Grey Hen Press's anthology Vaster than Empires.

Mandy's poetry also appears in a large number of printed and online publications in Scotland and further afield. Her debut pamphlet is The temperature of blue, published in early 2020 by Blue Salt Collective.

She is particularly interested in interdisciplinary performance that interweaves music and other arts such as poetry or the visual arts, for instance Grimes Graves, below. She has had poems performed, with music by Intuitive Music Aberdeen, in three Solstice Shorts festivals, most recently Time and Tide, held on 21 December 2019 at Peterhead.

In Intuitive Music Aberdeen, Mandy sings and plays electronic keyboard, harpsichord, melodica, recorder, and small percussion.

Mandy sings in Con Anima Chamber Choir (Aberdeen), Aberdeen Bach Choir, and Highbury Chamber Choir (London), and from 1999 to 2008 was a member of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus. In 2016, at the Edinburgh Fringe and in Aberdeen, she performed a short composition of her own, Ave Maria (1960), with the Australian group Waldorf Wayfarers.

A setting for choir and readers of her poem Requiem for a sunburnt country, written in reaction to the bushfires that devastated much of Australia in late 2019 and early 2020, was performed in Canberra in March 2020 as part of a large choral concert, "New Life, New Hope", directed by Judith Clingan AM.

Mandy Macdonald reads her poem Grimes Graves, with music by Intuitive Music Aberdeen: Haworth Hodgkinson (recorder) and Mandy Macdonald (harpsichord), in a recording made for Clear Poetry in 2017

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