On the Couch with Nathan Gilkes

Arts Review On the Couch Nathan GilkesWho is Nathan Gilkes?
Theatre-maker, composer, musician, and co-Artistic Director of Present Tense, working now on our latest work, Ricercar at Theatre Works.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Take time to step back and try to remember to breathe. It’s so easy to get tunnel-vision in the arts because of the intensity that we work at. It’s wonderful to throw yourself into something but we can often forget to step back and take a look and see the possibilities in front of you.

Who inspires you and why?
My collaborator and friend Bryce Ives. We’ve worked together now for 5 years after meeting at the VCA. I love our collaboration and the big, little company we’re creating. It feels like this is just the beginning of things and there is so much more work to make.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Make more art. The artists’ job is to make the foundations shake, to bring out the tribe and to let the world rock out. The world needs artists now more than ever. As artists we have to keep putting out big, bold and sometimes dangerous ideas.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Driving The Great Ocean Road; the most beautiful place on earth.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
Melbourne’s best-kept secret, Williamstown Beach.

What are you currently reading?
In between rehearsals and endless score edits, I’m reading Caribou Island by David Vann. I love his powerful use of image and language.

What are you currently listening to?
Spaces by Nils Frahm. This album is so delicate and beautiful; definitely takes you on a journey.

Happiness is?
A morning with my beautiful wife and baby boy.

What does the future hold for you?
Continue to build the work and project of Present Tense. We’ve got a number of big works in the pipeline and can’t wait to get them out in the world. We want to work with many more interesting collaborators and make epic, ecstatic theatre.

Nathan Gilkes is a theatre and music maker whose artistic practice examines intersecting points of image and music through the medium of theatre. He is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts in directing and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Voice and Education.

His work with voices has seen large-scale opera and theatre works and collaborations with big hART, The Hayloft Project, Lyric Opera Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts, Federation University and presentations at the Castlemaine State Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Sydney Festival and Melbourne Festival.

As co-artistic director of the Present Tense Ensemble with Bryce Ives his work includes co-directing and developing Ricercar and Margaret Fulton: Queen of the Dessert for Theatre Works , Chants des Catacombes for seasons at the Castlemaine State Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival and Donkey Wheel House; FOMO: the Fear of Missing Out for seasons at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival (in conjunction with Radio Adelaide) and Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Other credits include the innovative music event The Major Bruce Sessions: Volume 1; and The Lovely War project with Federation University. Nathan musically directed big hART’s Hipbone Sticking Out for the Melbourne International Arts Festival and Blue Angel for the Tasmanian International Arts Festival.

Ricercar will receive its world premiere season at Theatre Works from 2 December 2015. For more information, visit: www.theatreworks.org.au for details.

Image: Nathan Gilkes