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Briar Prastiti


Born: 1992 Website  


Briar Prastiti (b. 1992) is a composer and vocalist of New Zealand and Greek Cypriot descent. She hails from from Tauranga, New Zealand and is currently based in Thessaloniki, Greece. She holds a Masters in Composition from the New Zealand School of Music, where she studied composition under John Psathas and Michael Norris, alongside orchestration and conducting, both under Kenneth Young. Briar has composed music for short films, television, documentaries, and VR gaming, alongside her own music. She has also worked as a vocal teacher and performer.

Briar has performed as a member of Gamelan Padhang Moncar and Gamelan Taniwha Jaya, both as a singer and instrumentalist, including at WOMAD, Homegrown, and numerous other concerts and events. In 2012, she was awarded the Indonesian Gamelan Prize. She has been a guest singer with Puspawarna Gamelan in Dunedin and was also a core member of the Wellington-based SMP Ensemble, appearing as performer, conductor, and composer.

Briar's musical compositions have been performed or workshopped by the New Zealand String Quartet, multi-instrumentalist Adam Page, pianist Jonathan Berkahn and SMP Ensemble. Briar's first original film score for Missing Person, directed by Scott Williams, was premiered in 2012 at the Paramount Theatre in Wellington and her electroacoustic composition, In the Classroom was realised by Dugal McKinnon at the 2012 New Zealand Electroacoustic Music Symposium. Briar's graphic score for her experimental Javanese gamelan piece, Shifting Shadows was published by Waiteata Music Press as a part of the ‘Strange Terrain’ anthology.

She has scored three short films and was also involved in the production of the soundtracks for full length features, No Man’s Land (2016) and White Lies (2013). Briar’s album, Blue Anima was released in July 2017, a release that maintains cohesion despite drawing upon a range of musical languages.
Briar was the 2023 Composer in Residence for the New Zealand School of Music and has received praise for her ambitious collection of projects that she completed at the Douglas Lilburn residence, including her very first orchestral work `Akri premiered in 2023 by Orchestra Wellington, her second orchestral piece premiered in 2023 – an arrangement of her song White Red Black which she performed as a vocalist alongside John Psathas on piano with Orchestra Wellington, her third orchestral premier of Pegasus with the Bay of Plenty Symphonia orchestra, and the original soundtrack for the 2023 Circa Theatre production Prima Facie. Alongside these projects she has also written for smaller chamber ensembles and noteworthy classical performers, such as Bridget Douglas and Alistair Fraser for her piece Tierra Firma (solo flute and Taonga Pūoro), Australian virtuosic percussionist Claire Edwardes for eher piece, Kyklos (solo vibraphone).

Composed (13)

Clockwork Dancer

for gamelan, violin, and musical saw

Crunch Time

for solo saxophone and fixed media, 3m 50s

de la noche, de la muerte

for gamelan, voice, and violin

Delirious Euphoria

for gamelan

In The Classroom

an electroacoustic work, 5m

Industrial Fantasia

for piano and percussion ensemble, 7m


for orchestra, 10m

Pipe Dreamer

for solo piano, 7m

Shifting Shadows

for Javanese gamelan and sound technician, 7m

Terra Firma

for flute and taonga puoro, 12m

White Red Black

for orchestra, piano and voice, 9m

Ákri / Άκρη

for symphony orchestra, 6m 15s

ζωώδες/zo̱óḏes (‘Animality’)

for chamber ensemble, 4m 20s