About the Centre

Posted on September 14, 2015


Where inspiration, ideas and invention come together.


Before the printed book and before musical recordings, literature – whether prose, poetry or drama – was performed in conjunction with music. Over the centuries, innovations in technique created boundaries that gradually separated the two art forms from one another. The J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice (JMCCCP) – the first of its kind in Australia – brings these art forms together again, by investigating how different art forms converge and how they transform content when they are brought together, whether it be in traditional art forms such as opera or in more experimental art forms such as spoken word, sound or video installations. By bringing together outstanding practitioners in the fields of music, writing, philosophy and art history, the JMCCCP provides a cultural centre that encourages innovative new forms of collaborative artistic production.

What We Do

The JMCCCP focuses on practice-led research in order to examine how ideas are translated into artworks. The centre investigates how creative works are shaped by collaborative processes and examines the impact of emotional states, such as inspiration or melancholy, on creativity. Emotional states are affected by broader social forces and the centre also examines the way artists respond to the world around them.

The JMCCCP demonstrates the new possibilities that can occur when literature and music are combined with other art forms through world-class public performances of literary works, classical and experimental music, choral works, opera, film, as well as text and art installations. Our membership is comprised of some of Australia’s most outstanding musicians, composers, writers, philosophers, literary critics, musicologists and art historians, making the JMCCCP a centre of excellence in research and production in the arts. The centre runs an ambitious yearly programme of master classes and workshops that provide a stimulating environment for emerging and established writers, musicians and composers, while our generous residencies offer local practitioners the time and space to practice their craft and produce exceptional work. Find out more about what we do here and who we are here.

Our Patron

The JMCCCP is named after the centre’s patron, Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee. One of the most lauded of living writers, J.M. Coetzee’s work is an inspiration for the centre’s activities in terms of excellence and engagement with social and political issues. Coetzee’s novels frequently refer to the work of J.S. Bach and his writing also reflects Bach’s style formally through the use of polyphony in novels such as Diary of A Bad Year, demonstrating the kinds of influences and interactions between music and text that the centre examines.