Dr Alexander Hunter

Composition and Honours Convenor, School of Music
Co-Chair of Education Committee, School of Music

Dr Alexander Hunter studied composition, double bass, viola da gamba and ethnomusicology at Northern Illinois University, and received a PhD in composition from Edinburgh Napier University. In 2014 he relocated to Canberra to take up a lecturing position at the Australian National University School of Music. Hunter has taught composition, theory and history, and founded the ANU Experimental Music Studio. His work as a composer is based on open works, which encourage a fluid relationship between composer, score and performer.

As a composer Hunter has worked with the following performers/ensembles: Mabel Kwan (Chicago), the Quiet Music Ensemble (Cork), Pesedjet (members of Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente), the Chimera Ensemble (York), the Edinburgh Quartet (Edinburgh), Scottish Voices (Glasgow), ensemble a.pe.ri.od.ic (Chicago) and others.

Hunter’s current performance-led research is based on collaborative multimedia works, most recently with visual artists Mike Parr, Martyn Jolly (Head of ANU Photography and Media Arts), Ngaio Fitzpatrick (ANU Climate Change Institute), Andrew Quinn, John Carolan and Janet Meaney; and dancers Jack Riley and Liz Lea.

As a researcher his work has been focused on the music of the New York School; reductionist improvisers and other improvisers and improvisation ensembles; the writings of Rob Haskins and Jonathan D. Kramer; feminism, anarchism and leftist politics in composition and performance; and open musical forms and notation.

Research interests

  • Open/Non-linear Music (especially mobile moment form)
  • Open Music Notation (graphic, prose, game pieces, etc.)
  • Spectralism
  • Acoustic Ecology
  • Generative, Interactive and Dynamic Music
  • Intersectional Feminism in musical composition and performance
  • Anarchism in musical composition and performance
  • Improvisation Ensembles
  • nêhiyaw/Métis culture
  • Jolly, M, deCourcy, E, Hunter, A et al. 2021, 'J. W. Newland�s "Beautiful Scientific Exhibition of Dissolving Views" reinterpreted in 2021'.
  • Jolly, M, Hunter, A, deCourcy, E et al. 2020, 'Magic lantern performance, 'Suburban Apparitions', for ACT Historic Places at Calthorpe's House. Dr Alexander Hunter, Dr Charles Martin, Dr Elisa DeCourcy, Dr Waratah Lahy'.
  • Jolly, M, Hunter, A, Martin, C et al. 2020, Magic lantern performance, Suburban Apparitions, for ACT Historic Places at Calthorpes House.
  • Swift, B, Martin, C & Hunter, A 2019, 'Two Perspectives on Rebooting Computer Music Education: Composition and Computer Science (2019)', Seeing the inaudible, hearing the invisible, Published by the Australasian Computer Music Association, Australia, pp. 53-57.
  • Jolly, M, deCourcy, E, Hunter, A et al. 2019, Magic lantern performance, The Australian Object: Material Culture in Context, National Art School and Power Institute, Sydney, 4 October.
  • Jolly, M, Hunter, A, deCourcy, E et al. 2018, 'Five Scenes from a Modern Prometheus - Magic Lantern Conference September 2018'.
  • Jolly, M, deCourcy, E, Hunter, A et al. 2018, A magic lantern show demonstrating scientific truths, Imagineers in Circus and Science: Scientific Knowledge and Creative Imagination.
  • Jolly, M, deCourcy, E, Hunter, A et al. 2017, Magic lantern show, for the Transit Lounge of Photography Symposium, Centre for Contemporary Photography and Deakin University, 21 October. Curated by Patrick Pound.
  • Conroy, R & Hunter, A 2017, Fencelines #1.
  • Jolly, M, Hunter, A & Martin, C 2016, 'Canberra Obscura'.
  • Jolly, M, Hunter, A, Jolly, C et al 2016, 'Double drowning fatality'.
  • Jolly, M, Hunter, A, Martin, C et al 2016, 'Heritage in the limelight Various Venues (2012-2016)'.
  • Jolly, M, Hunter, A, Martin, C et al 2016, 'Magic Lantern Horror Show'.
  • Hunter, A 2014, An Investigation into Contemporary Open Musical Forms: Moving beyond practice emanating in response to the innovations of the New York School.
  • Hunter, A 2014, Lise Meitner Soprano, Electric Guitar and Sustaining Keyboard Instrument (2014).
  • Hunter, A 2013, Emmy Noether.
  • Hunter, A & Davis, L 2012, 'Three Looped Electric Bass Pieces for a Video Installation'.
  • Hunter, A 2008, Bass clarinet, Violoncello and Percussion.
  • Hunter, A 2008, For Mabel.
  • Hunter, A 2007, For Four String Players.