CQUniversity Profiles
CQUniversity Profiles
Search Find an Expert Sign In

Dr. David Reaston

PhD(USYD), MMus(Comp.)(USYD), BJazzStudies(CQU)
Lecturer - Music
School of Education and the Arts
(07) 4940 7895
About Me

David Reaston is an accomplished guitarist who composes and improvises music in the contemporary classical and jazz idioms. The cut and splice, intellectual internal reference, and sonic blasts of his '10 Guitar Project', combined with freebased improvisation have confirmed him as an audacious innovator.

In the past decade, he has released numerous albums as leader or co-leader which feature his compositions, most notably, nationally-acclaimed 'Sons Of No Guns For We Are Anomalous' (2014) by Song Fwaa and the self-titled 'The 10 Guitar Project' (2010). He has also performed extensively throughout Australia and New Zealand in jazz clubs, bars, concert halls and at festivals.

David has studied jazz guitar and composition. In 2001 he received a Bachelor of Jazz Studies with Distinction from the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music, CQUniversity, where he was awarded the prize of 'Student of the Year'. He then relocated to Sydney and completed a Master of Music degree in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney in 2006. In 2019, David was awarded his PhD from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. His research focused on Open-Compositions, and in particular, issues of identity and authorship that arise when involving performers in the compositional process.

David has extensive experience as a guitar teacher, including eleven years at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney (2005-2016). Since 2017, he has been teaching in the Bachelor of Music program at CQUniversity where his duties include guitar and bass instruction, composition, arranging and song writing classes, ensemble direction, and music technology and recording classes.

Universities Studied At

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Conservatorium Rd, Sydney

University of Sydney

Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music

Mackay Ooralea Campus

CQUniversity, Australia

Universities Worked At

Australian Institute of Music

Sydney campus

Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music

Mackay Ooralea Campus

CQUniversity, Australia


  • 2014 Scholarship winner of an Australian Post-graduate Award - University of Sydney
  • 2011 Finalist in the APRA Professional Development Awards (Jazz)
  • 2003 Top ten position in National composition competition “MusicOZ Challenge” in the Classical section
  • 2002 The Conservatorium Student of the Year Award for 2001 (CQCM)
  • 2002 The Annual prize for Potential for 2001 (CQCM)
  • 2002 The North Jacklin Annual Award for Best Student of Jazz for 2001 (CQCM)
  • 2001 The North Jacklin Annual Award for Best Student of Jazz for 2000 (CQCM)
  • 2001 The Annual Prize for Ensemble Performance for 2000 (CQCM)
  • 2000 The North Jacklin Annual Award for Best Student of Jazz for 1999 (CQCM)

Media Citations


  • Echoes of the Garden Palace - Event
  • The Sydney Morning Herald - Album review by John Shand - ★★★★ "gamesters of the highest order"
  • '5 Mutant Creatures with Song Fwaa' - scenestr.
  • Veronique Serret: A Stolen Satellite and other works - Event
  • Sizzle @ Spectrum NOW festival - Event
  • The Australian - Album review by John McBeath - ★★★★ 'The music often combines aspects of free jazz — mostly rhythmic, albeit often in odd tempos — with contemporary classical ideas, reminiscent of Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Exemplifying these ideas are four tracks entitled Tacet Suite…'
  • Jazz and Beyond - Album review by Peter Wockner - ★★★1/2 'fountain of spontaneity...intuitive interplay'
  • The Music Trust - Album review by Tim Rollinson - ‘Reaston, who is interested in latin and African guitar styles as well as use of serialism and indeterminacy brings an individual and fresh sound.’
  • Sydney Improvised Music Association - Song Fwaa - Album Launch
  • Canberra Jazz Blog - Gig review by Eric Pozza - 'great technique and a very different sensibility and some very complex and intricate compositions'
  • The Sydney Morning Herald - Album review by John Shand - ★★★★'dense, disquieting, playful, moving and hypnotic'
  • The Australian - Album review by John McBeath - ★★★1/2 'dense webs of texture suspended in space and time'
  • Eastside FM 89.7 (Sydney) - Album of the week - 'esoteric world woven with dense and hypnotic melodies, colliding percussion and unpredictable improvisations'
  • Alt Media - Album review by Emma Slakild - ★★1/2 'experimental and kooky'
  • The Sydney Morning Herald - Album review by John Shand - ★★★1/2 'shrewd arranging and an impeccably collegial spirit…A perfect act for festivals.'
  • Limelight Magazine - Album review by Peter Wockner - ★★★1/2 ‘The orchestration of the leader David Reaston encompasses moments of metal chaos, lucid telepathy and fluid swing’
  • Alternative Media Group - Album review by Aidan Roberts - ★★★1/2 ‘Reaston’s buzzing and atonal guitar playing is a signature sound’
  • The Sydney Morning Herald - Gig review by John Shand - 'madman/prophet'...'His compositions and arrangements embraced many options, ranging from a smattering of collective free improvisation to stonking unisons and onto the predictable employment of bass riffs, chords and solos…'
  • Cadence Magazine (U.S.A) - Album review - ‘Reaston proves a dazzling technician—keeping time with percussive thwacks of palm on bridge, comping, and ripping off lead lines all at once. He’s a serious groover, and his energy is prodigious.’

Previous teaching

Contemporary Performance Tutor - Australian Institute of Music, Sydney NSW.
  • Ensemble (Tri 2, 2006 - Tri 3, 2006; Tri 2, 2007 - Tri 1, 2008; Tri 1, 2009 - Tri 2, 2009; Tri 3, 2016)
  • Guitar Skills (Tri 1, 2013 - Tri 1, 2016)
  • Improvisation (Tri 2, 2006; Tri 1, 2007 - Tri 2, 2008; Tri 2, 2009 - Tri 3, 2011)
  • Instrumental Guitar lessons (Tri 1, 2006 - Tri 3, 2016)
  • Post Graduate Instrumental Guitar lessons (Tri 2, 2008)

Academic Studies Lecturer - Australian Institute of Music, Sydney NSW

  • Critical Studies Contemporary 1 (History and Theory), Critical Studies Contemporary 2 (History and Theory) (Sem 1, 2005 to Tri 2, 2007)
  • Aural (Sem 2, 2005 to Tri 3, 2006)

Contemporary Guitar Tutor - Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM), Mackay QLD (2002)

Casual Composition Tutor - Conservatorium High School, Sydney NSW (2005 - 2010)

Guest Composition Teacher - Sydney Distance Education High School, Sydney NSW (2010)

Professional Experience

Selected Performing Experience
  • Song Fwaa: Brisbane Jazz Club QLD; Seymour Centre, Sydney; Creative Jazz Club, Auckland NZ; NZ School of Music, Wellington NZ; Underbar, Christchurch NZ; NIMA, Newcastle NSW; The Jazz Loft, Canberra ACT; Venue 505, Sydney NSW; Jazzgroove Summer Festival, Sydney.
  • 10 Guitar Project: Spectrum Festival, Red Rattler, Sydney; Venue 505, Sydney; The Basement, Sydney
  • Max Sharam: Cyndi Lauper “She’s So Unusual” national tour support - Australian Tour 2013.
  • Performances with Armeen Musa (Bangladesh); Natalie Dietz; Carl Riseley; Jeremy Sawkins; Reaston Kay Effect; Mezcla; Continuum Sax; Kevin Hunt, Don Rader, Don Burrows.

Selected Discography

  • ‘Sons of No Guns For We Are Anomalous’ - Song Fwaa, 2014. ★★★★ The Australian. ★★★★ SMH. ★★★1/2 Jazz and Beyond.
  • ‘Ligeti’s Goat’ - Song Fwaa, 2011. ★★★★ SMH, ★★★1/2 The Australian.
  • ‘10 Guitar Project’ - 10 Guitar Project, 2010. ★★★1/2 SMH, ★★★1/2 Limelight Mag.
  • 'Entomology' - Martin Kay and David Reaston, 2012.
  • ‘The Reaston Kay Effect’ - The Reaston Kay Effect, 2008. ★★★1/2 AltMedia
  • 'A Nautical Mile' - Craig Naughton, 2010.
  • 'Home Here' – dLivr, 2005.
  • ‘After Now’ (NEW 3151.2) - David Reaston, 2004.

Professional Memberships

  • Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA)
  • Golden Key International Honour Society

Research Supervision

I am currently accredited for supervision in the following:

  • Performing Arts and Creative Writing

At the level of Associate Supervisor

Current Capacity
I am currently unavailable to supervise more research candidates
Checking For Students Supervised
Loading Publications
Loading Teaching