SMUDGEMUSIC is me, Ruth Lee Martin, and this site set up to allow people to enjoy my music and to purchase either electronic music from this site, or commission me for a custom electronic work or score. My musical style is eclectic with many influences creeping in, but their are recurring themes: my love of vocal experimentation, drones, and minimalism in textural soundscapes.
I am a Canberra-based composer and studied composition at doctoral level at the Australian National University, where I also taught for many years. I have worked with many of Australia's finest performers, have had numerous commissions through the Australian Council for the Arts, and was awarded an ACT Creative Arts Fellowship.
I worked on a television project with award winning New York (and more recently Melbourne) film director, Emma Watts. A Diary From the Frontline is a documentary series on COVID-19. It documents the lives of those on the frontline during the pandemic including Global Health Reporting Center in NYC (and Cape Town) and doctors and nurses in Philadelphia, Regional England, Cape Town, Vicenza (Italy) San Diego and a South African township. This series went live on PBS Newshour in the US.
I also composed the music for Tales from Tinder, and the multi-awarded series, No Strings Attached (Raindance Film Festival Official Selection, Orlando Film Festival Official Selection, Vancouver Web Fest Best Documentary, DubWebFest Winner Best LGBT, Melbourne Web Series Festival Best Australian Non-Fiction, Bushwick Film Festival Official Selection, Brooklyn Web Fest Official Selection).
Other film composition includes music for House on the Hill for the Electra String Quartet (Sydney), Phil South percussion and Mark Atkins dijeridu. This was commissioned by the House of Parliament for both a documentary on the building of the House (Ronin Films) and for a live performance at the 20th birthday celebrations of the building. Learning about the symbolism in the House from the incredible architect, Romaldo Giurgola, was a privilege. I was honoured to have a one of my compositions performed in APH at Romaldo’s memorial service in 2016.
Music for ‘A House for the Nation’ commissioned by the House of Parliament for a four-part documentary on the House of Representatives (Ronin Films) was a project I worked on in 2004.
My compositions for performers include:
Slàn (Farewell) for Scottish Voices with Director, Graham Hair. This work will be premiered in the first half of 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Winter it is Past for solo piano, for Joanne Polk, Manhattan School of Music, New York. This work premiered in both New York and Canberra via video conferencing.
Choral and vocal music has been a passion, including the composition of set of sacred choral works performed and recorded by the Trinity Choir, Melbourne and the talented Sydney ensemble Halcyon on a setting of the poet, Kevin Hart’s, evocative Wimmera poems. It was an inspiring experience working with such great musicians as we fine-tuned this compositional cycle.
I have always enjoyed crossing boundaries and my project, ‘Circadian Rhythm’, commissioned by Research School of the Humanities for the event ‘Fusion’ held at ANU gave me the opportunity to work with a string quartet, a choreographer, a dance troupe and a DJ. I composed the music for a thirty-minute ballet choreographed by Solon Ulbrich (Adelaide) danced by Quantum Leap (Australian Choreographic Centre) performed by students and staff from School of Music, ANU.
I am a fully represented composer at the Australian Music Centre and you can hear some short excerpts from some of my works as well as my scores on their website. Some of my scores are also in the National Library of Australia.