Joshua Adams is an Australian singer and award-winning composer born and based in Perth.
In 2018 he completed his BA (Hons) in Music at The University of Western Australia studying classical voice while researching contemporary Gregorian chant practice and exploring applications of chant within contemporary composition. Prior to leaving Perth for study in the UK, he was the Principal Cantor at St Mary’s Cathedral, a Graduate Artist at St George’s College, and Musical Director of the Holy Spirit Choir at The University of Notre Dame Australia – Fremantle. He received the Royal School of Church Music’s (RSCM’s) Gold Award in 2017, placed first in the Australian Catholic University’s (ACU’s) 2018 Isabel Menton Composition Award, second in the Australian National Choral Association’s (ANCA’s) 2018 composition competition, won Voyces’ ‘Aspire’ composition competition in 2019, and jointly won the National Youth Choir of Australia’s (NYCA’s) Ralph Morton Memorial Composition Competition in 2020 (which he had been shortlisted for in the previous 2017 competition). The winning entry ‘Everything Lives at the Ocean’ was performed in the 2022 NYCA season in Victoria.
His music is performed across Australia with his radio debut a recording of ‘Jesu Dulcis Memoria’ from The Australian Voices broadcast on ABC Classic in 2019.
He received his first international debut in 2020 with a performance of ‘Come to Me in My Dreams’ by The 24 in York, UK. In September of 2021, he moved to the UK and commenced an MA in Solo Voice Ensemble Singing at the University of York, where he studied with Robert Hollingworth (I Fagiolini). At the University of York he was a member of The 24, the Tenor Section Leader of the University of York Choir, and sang with a number of other local York choirs during his year in the city. The 24 performed a new piece titled ‘Landscape’ in their first term concert, and student-run choir Animas performed ‘Something Childish, but Very Natural’ in second term, which he conducted. The year abroad afforded several international music experiences including a trip to London, Ontario for the Canadian Renaissance Music Summer School, and an Italy tour with Seattle-based Byrd Ensemble’s Byrd International Singers concluding with a performance at the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. His final MA recital with solo voice ensemble Contact Polyphony featured the premiere of a new work written for the performance, ‘The Cloths of Heaven’.
Outside of the music world, Joshua has also trained and worked as a chef.
Written after Perth’s first lockdown due to Covid-19, this simple yet lush setting of Coleridge’s poetry expresses a first glimpse of hope and return to normality. Both an expressive longing and a gentle dreaming to be with someone far away resonates through the harmony and melodic gestures.
These three motets are settings of hymn texts by the influential theologian and writer, Thomas Aquinas. O Salutaris Hostia (O Saving Victim), Panis Angelicus (Bread Of Angels), and Tantum Ergo (Hence So Great A Sacrament) each pertain to the Eucharist – a central aspect of Christianity. The chant melodies of these texts are layered with other material (both derived from the tune, and freely written) in a similar fashion between each piece to create linked, but unique modern textures. Each uses predominately the same pitches, but with different use of modality originating from each chant theme producing different colours in the sound world.
This set is a part of the Sacre Australis series.
Listen below for recordings of Three Eucharistic Motets by Joshua Adams
O Salutaris Hostia: