To view video, click the picture below:   This recording of THE SHE-WOLF was made in the late 1980s. It was one of a cycle of five songs, ’Points in a Journey’, which was commissioned by North Adams State College, Massachusetts and had its First Performance at Smith House, North Adams State College. The work is a response to a poem by Australian poet, Jena Woodhouse. She writes about the strength and passion of her late mother.

“Asmaradana”, a Javanese song form reserved for themes of heroic or tragic love, originates from the courtly life and music of Central Java. Already established by the eleventh century, it endures even today as a well-loved form of expression. My interest in this was awakened during several visits to Indonesia, which I made with my husband David Cox, in the 1970’s and 80’s. Originally this piece was a setting of the poem “Asmaradana” by the very influential Indonesian poet Goenawan Mohamad translated by Dr. Harry Aveling. I later wrote the work as a piano solo; this orchestral version was written for performance by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Mills, for the Music of Australia program, which took place during the Trade and Cultural Mission in Jakarta, AUSTRALIA TODAY INDONESIA ’94. The piano version is published by Wirripang Pty. Ltd., and this orchestral version has been recorded by Vienna…

I enjoyed writing this piece, which I originally wrote for my own performance and pleasure; it seemed appropriate then to give it the title WOMAN’S SONG. The tonality is based on the Balinese pelog scale and this, together with rhythms that might be used by the gamelan, reflects something of the colour and dynamic contrast often to be heard in Balinese gamelan performance. An arrangement of the work titled ALLEGRO VIVACE FOR STRINGS ‘WOMAN’S SONG’ was subsequently published by Wirripang (Publications by Wirripang, www.australiancomposers.com.au) and a recorded performance by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Toshiyuki Shimada, has been released on Vienna Modern Masters CD 3053. I see the piece as expressing energy and exhilaration together with tenderness and joy, the joy we may know in a celebration of life. Betty Beath. Click image below Woman’s Song  

Styles can change I like pen and ink as a medium and, mostly I draw directly with the pen, which means I don’t pencil out first, then draw the ink line over the pencil.  There’s nothing wrong with doing that;  but,  for myself,  I find that doing it my way will result  in a line that is  more energetic    It is the end result matters and usually an energetic drawing is what I am looking for.. I am not trying for complete accuracy. I want my drawings to look spontaneous, as though I have just jotted them down while the story is being told, almost as though they are calligraphy, quickly written down.  I also want my illustrations to be lively and to look as though I have enjoyed drawing them. I think readers sense that enjoyment. I like to try out on different types of paper,  with different pens…

Music Blog The Purest Love Selections from the first performance of the forty-five minute music drama, IL POVERELLO, which was performed in St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, October 1st 2010.The work was commissioned by MANDOLINS IN BRISBANE. The program notes describe the work as: ‘A wonderful soundscape that animates the fascinating character of St Francis. Betty Beath and Davd Cox have explored Francis, the person, and his message of love and peace, his affinity with nature and his devotion to simplicity of life.’

 Fratelli Minori https://youtu.be/cukVA9R1-wM   Fratelli Minori is extracted from IL POVERELLO, a forty-fiveminute music theatre piece on the life of ST Francis of Assisi, with music by Betty Beath, text and visuals by David Cox, commissioned by Mandolins in Brisbane and premiered in St Johns Cathedral, Brisbane, Australia, October 1st 2010. In this video, a recording from the first performance, the Alexandra chorale combine with Franciscan friars as they enter the cathedral and move along the central aisle, singing Fratelli Minori, a walking meditation. IL POVERELLO, performed by the Queensland Mandolin Orchestra, instrumental ensemble, Alexandra Chorale, soloists and narrator was conducted by Nathan Aspinall. Recorded by Lodestar.        

Sketchbooks and squiggles Not everyone can go to art school to learn to draw; but I do think it is important, if you are going to illustrate stories, to have some confidence in your drawing. And remember that whenever we make marks on paper, canvas or computer screen, we are drawing. When we write we are drawing. Illustrators, when they draw,  are writing; well… story-telling. I was often ill and in bed when I was a child and  I entertained myself by drawing.  My mother, when she came by, would pick up my sketch book and pencil and draw one continuous, squiggly line.   I would have to turn her squiggle into a drawing by the time she came by again… that was the rule of the game. Her squiggles became more and more complex and I think I came to draw, from my imagination, just a bit better all the…

There is something good and natural about the art of illustration; it is as much a literary art, to my way of thinking, as it is a visual one and I see illustrators, alongside the writers of words, as story tellers. An illustrator can add subtexts to a story, can even make gentle fun of the text and, of course, there are illustrators such as the Japanese Mitsumasa Anno, who tell stories beautifully with no need for words. I have been an illustrator for a long time now; but I began my working life, when I was sixteen, as a jackaroo on sheep and cattle stations in outback Australia. The good thing about that job was that I didn’t pay for my food or board and I very seldom went near a town or city; so I saved money. When I was twenty-one, I took off for London just to…

In 1975, Betty and I were lucky enough to be awarded a travel grant by the Literature Board of The Australia Council (an innovation of the Whitlam era). We went, wide eyed with innocence and curiosity, to explore the islands of Bali and Java. We had no definite objective, no planned publications, we would just allow, even encourage, things to happen and then work out what to do. We had learned as much of the Indonesian language as we could, enough to get by, and of course we would be forced to learn quickly as we went on our way. We had no very clear picture of what we would find, photographs and books give you only a vague overview. There was one description, however, that remained clear in our minds: A Sumatran gentleman we met at a party for Indonesian students told us, a little defensively, ‘You can call us…

Betty and David welcome you to our new website. In these pages we intend to make some of our work available: music scores and discs as well as books and music dramas. We will make available Powerpoint videos which may be used as visuals to accompany performances of Betty’s music and we intend to write our own blog on various topics, mostly to do with the arts. We will change these articles every couple of weeks. We do hope you will enjoy our site.