Two of Australia’s most vibrant musical forces, the Australian Art Orchestra and Ensemble Offspring, unite with celebrated young composer-pianists Austin Buckett and Simon James Phillips, who have each created immersive works that exploit the extraordinary array of sonic effects that can only be achieved with large pipe organs.
The unexpected addition of reel-to-reel tape machines, turntables, electronics, percussion, voice, trumpet and strings will alter your sense of time and space as they are all processed live in combination with the majestic pipe organ, creating an unfamiliar and entrancing world of sound.
Simon James Phillips: FLAW (2015) – for pipe organ and ensemble (World Premiere)
In FLAW, Simon James Phillips transfigures our sense of linear time using a mix of acoustic and electronic instruments. Drawing inspiration from society’s ever increasing technological contributions to the world and their resulting multilayered impacts, Phillips works with subtle timbral and structural development to build complex, slowly turning textural layers that hypnotise and fascinate.
Austin Buckett: AISLES (2015) – for pipe organ and ensemble (World Premiere)
A work for pipe organ, turntables, strings, trumpet, vocals, and two percussionists that draws on a wide range of inspirations from minimalism to hip hop and which creates a truly immersive experience for the audience. AISLES features a slowly evolving approach and sets up looped conversations between the organ, turntables, percussion and strings over which the ethereal voice of Sonya Holowell and the trumpet of Peter Knight float like kites in the ether.
Alvin Lucier: SWINGS (2015) – for pipe organ and ensemble (World Premiere)
Now in his 85th year, Alvin Lucier is one of the towering figures of twentieth century music and is famous for works that explore phenomena and auditory perception. Still highly active, Lucier lectures and performs extensively in Asia, Europe and the United States and has recently collaborated with John Ashbury (Theme) and Robert Wilson (Skin, Meat, Bone).
Many of Lucier’s works explore the difference tones produced by two notes played very closely together and generate sonically hallucinatory effects both conceptually fascinating and sensually engaging. The organ is a wonderful vehicle for Lucier’s ideas and the prospect of a brand new work composed specifically for the wonderful Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ with an ensemble of players from the Australian Art Orchestra and Ensemble Offspring is scintillating.
Commissioned and co-produced by Ensemble Offspring, the Australian Art Orchestra and Insite Arts, Exit Ceremonies features: Simon James Phillips (Organ/Composer), Austin Buckett (Organ/Composer), Peter Knight (Trumpet/Electronics), Sonya Holowell (Voice), Martin Ng (Turntables), Claire Edwardes (Percussion), Joe Talia (Drum kit/Revox B77 reel-to-reel tape machine), Erkki Veltheim (Violin), Anna McMichael (Violin), Mary Rapp (Cello), and Sam Pankhurst (Bass).
Verbrugghen Hall – Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Conservatorium Road, Sydney
Performance: Saturday 23 January 2016 – 8.00pm
Bookings: 1300 856 876 or online at: www.sydneyfestival.org.au
Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne
Performance: Saturday 6 February 2016 – 7.30pm
Image: Exit Ceremonies