On the Couch with Eugene Ughetti

Eugene Ughetti Arts Review On the CouchWho is Eugene Ughetti?
Artistic Director of Speak Percussion.

What would you do differently to what you do now?   
I would incorporate meditation and spiritual development into the workplace and remove social media. The kind of creative work and energy required to make art comes from a place of great clarity, positivity, deep focus and self-awareness.

Who inspires you and why?
Julian Burnside QC – through his work and life he supports the vulnerable, shares his knowledge, understands and nurtures the arts and consistently speaks out about some of the most important issues facing humanity.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Be the truest manifestation of myself as I can. I believe everybody makes a difference in the world through the various words and actions of their daily lives. Some professions require a high degree of public visibility and others are done behind closed doors without remuneration. It’s often the things in-between however which make a real difference, a kind smile in the street or a moment of empathy.

I’m not concerned with ‘what I do’ or ‘making a difference’ but I believe that by being an artist that I am being both true to myself and making my best contribution to society. This is about enriching our cultural life and expanding our understanding of ourselves both individually and as a society.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Wilson’s Promontory National Park. A place of extraordinary natural beauty and so many holiday activities. Swimming, hiking, wildlife, camping and everything from marine parks to rainforests.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
It’s normally focused around food and wine and always a decision based on what would work for them as a special experience.

What are you currently reading?
Nothing. Haven’t read a book in about 5 years!

What are you currently listening to?
Øyvind Torvund ‘sweet pieces’ for synthesizer, percussion and orchestra.

Happiness is?
All in the mind.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m very excited to be performing in two major Australian premiere’s with Speak Percussion this November in Melbourne. Anicca at Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall: 2 – 6 November, and Fluorophone at The Substation, Newport: 23 – 25 November 2016. Both works present an ambitious and wholly unique approach to 21st century percussion practice. With high production values and a stunning visual design these two projects will take audiences on a sonic odyssey like they’ve never experienced before.

Eugene Ughetti is the artistic director of Speak Percussion. His work focuses on new chamber music and hybrid-arts collaboration, and has been a soloist in both orchestral and chamber music settings mainly premiering Australian music. Eugene has worked with most of Australia’s leading new music ensembles, some of the world’s finest composers including Steve Reich and Pierre Boulez and with conductors Valery Gergiev, James Levine and Charles Dutoit.

He has composed works for The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, ABC and Bionic Ear Institute. His works have been presented internationally and have won him a place as a finalist in the APRA/AMCOS and AMC Art Music Awards as well as the Melbourne Prize for Music. Eugene was the winner of the inaugural Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship, OZCO Creative Fellowship (Early Career) and the MCA/Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music (2011).

Image: Eugene Ughetti