Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music

BIFEM 2014In just a few days, the second edition of the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (BIFEM) gets underway. BIFEM’s celebration of virtuosic musicianship and innovation in composition is Australia’s newest and most dynamic international musical platform winning international praise for its inaugural 2103 program

BIFEM Founder and Artistic Director David Chisholm said “This year we remain firmly focussed on long-form works, world and Australian premieres, and presenting a flawless international company of musicians, featuring major technology-led works inspired by the cosmos.”

Highlights of the 2014 Festival include:

– The Australian premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Sirius – an 8-channel surround, 95-minute modern mystery play wrapped in a science fiction fantasy’ featuring long-time Stockhausen collaborator Nicholas Isherwood in his Australian début.

– The Australian premiere of Phillip Manoury’s 55-minute piano work Pluton – the first work ever composed with MAX/MSP live audio signal processing in 1988.

– The Australian début of American flautist Eric Lamb, playing with Bendigo’s Argonaut Ensemble, led by 28 year old Parisien superstar Maxime Pascal in a rare performance of Grisey’s late masterpiece, Vortex Temporum.

The Festival also includes: Colombian composer Daniel Zea’s mesmerising piece Kinecticut, part-choreography, part-living sound sculpture, that is scored for four laptops and four naked musicians; Julian Day’s sculptural intervention, Lovers – featuring two pairs of matching synthesisers pinned vertically between the floor and ceiling by long metal rods; and the late Argentinian composer Mauricio Kagel’s whimsical work for 111 bicycles, where the community gets to perform in Eine Brise’s Flüchtige Aktion für Radfahrer.

The workshop program features multi-instrumentalist, improviser, instrument builder, installation artist and educator Dale Gorfinkel as he pioneers a new way of bringing his many worlds together with the help of Bendigo kids; while Benjamin Kolaitis will convene the Festival Colloquium, Wired – discussing the role of technology in the production of composition.

Stan Liacos, Director of City Futures for City of Greater Bendigo praised BIFEM’s fast growth from a pop-up $1500 pre-festival event in 2012 to a quarter of a million dollar festival in 2014.

“Bendigo has come a long way in the last ten years and much of our progress and growth is due to our investment in developing and consolidating a competitive strength as a city and region with vibrant contemporary arts offerings cleverly choreographed and showcased,” says Mr Liacos.

“We enjoy surprising people who come from far bigger cities than ours. And this has not happened by accident. It is because we have been confident, courageous and pushed the boundaries of what is typical. BIFEM is a classic demonstration of that. The festival is unique. It has been developed for Bendigo, and belongs to Bendigo.”

The 2014 Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music runs from 5 – 7 September. For more information and full programme, visit: for details.

Image: courtesy of Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music