On the Couch with Aviva Endean

Arts Review Aviva Endean On the CouchWho is Aviva Endean?
Melbourne based musician. I studied as a clarinetist and have recently been broadening the scope of what I do to include performance making, composing, sound-based installation work, and video.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I imagine it would be immensely satisfying if you were very skilled in a specific type of therapy and were able to work one-on-one with other people to help them overcome their difficulties, so maybe something like Speech Pathology, or perhaps Listening Therapy which I’ve been reading about recently and has been used to make remarkable progress with autistic kids. I had a little taste of what this might feel like when I developed my ‘Intimate Sound Immersion’, a piece for one blindfolded person at a time. That opportunity to connect intensely with one other person for a short period of time was very powerful and in itself quite therapeutic I think.

Who inspires you and why?
The older generation of freelance artists. Those people who have just kept at it, making work that they love, not worrying about fitting into conventions, refusing to alter their work to make more money, and continually rediscovering their work in different contexts and collaborations. It takes a lot of courage, persistence and creativity.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
If I was all powerful I would free the world of prejudice, racism, greed, and climate change deniers!

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I’m not very good at holidays in any conventional sense. My favourite way to do it is to plan to stay an extra week wherever I end up at the end of a tour. That way you generally have found your way into the heart of wherever you are, met some people to play music with and share some food with, so then it doesn’t really matter where you are!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Melbourne breakfast at a Brunswick café. It really is outrageous how far we have taken this meal.

What are you currently reading?
Norman Doidge – The Brain’s Way of Healing

What are you currently listening to?
The Master musicians of Joujouka, The Necks, Rokia Traore, Pierluigi Billone (currently practicing two of his pieces, 1+1=1 for two bass clarinets and ‘Mani Gonxha’ for two Tibetan bowls)

Happiness is?
Enjoying the present moment.

What does the future hold for you?
The next few months are very full of fun things! First up is a new solo recital Dual Rituals at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (BIFEM), where I’ll be premiering a new piece that the festival has commissioned by an amazing Polish composer, Wojtek Blecharz alongside works by Magnus Lindberg, Pierluigi Billone and myself. Then I’m touring regional Victoria with Zulya and The Children of the Underground, one of my all time favourite bands which I was lucky enough to join earlier this year!

Then a quick dash up to Sydney to audition as a finalist for the Freedman Fellowship, which is a great honour, if slightly terrifying. Then it’s off to Europe in October to tour the epic 75-minute bass clarinet duo 1+1=1 with my dear friend and clarinetist extraordinaire Sam Dunscombe, which we first performed together at BIFEM in 2013.

November, I’m back to Australia to work on some projects with Ensemble Offspring, Tim Humphrey and Madeline Flynn and to play some shows with my masked band ‘Prophets’. Then I’ll be finishing up the year with my own immersive sound/theatre piece Domicile which is going to be presented by the New Music Network and take place in all the different rooms of my childhood home!

The Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (BIFEM) runs 4 – 6 September 2015. For more information, visit: www.bifem.com.au for details.

Image: Aviva Endean