Australian Sound Artist

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fables & Other Works: Looking for Cowslips. Rehearsals.

:: Guest performers :: 

I joined Mira Calix for her rehearsal schedule, to find developments moving quickly. I missed the first couple of rehearsals and those small voids covered an expanse of progress well beyond what I would expect to achieve in rehearsal time. She moves quickly!! While I scoop up scores with recently added pencil markings and hand written scribblings - to save them before they disappear into the flurry of actions and objects that together - bring the works to life - Mira has moved on to the next rehearsal piece and is describing moods and inspirations to the musicians.

These moments of explanation from Mira have become a bit of a favourite of mine. They are moments of quiet, whereby the musicians (and I from afar) sit and listen, to the tales of how/why/where/who - reasons of creation - intended emotional response and translation of the above through the playing of their instruments. I've always enjoyed a good story teller... Captions that I remember from her tales include, 'Egyptian basement acid trip', 'Whirling dervishes' and 'thick, dense, soupy air'. There were so many more but I've managed to forget them already.

:: Rehearsal in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall - in progress ::

Wednesday's rehearsal was in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall of the Melbourne Recital Centre and included the musicians,

Amir Farid - Piano
Josie Vains - Cello
Sarah Curro - Violin
Jo Beaumont - Violin
Aviva Endean - Clarinet
Anna Webb - Viola

The two pieces that have haunted me with their sounds since this rehearsal are 'Nunu' and the 'Made of Music' commission, 'He Fell Amongst Roses'. I'm trying not to give too much away but I will say that both are strikingly different but cover two pressure points of my own likings, them being, instruments as used to generate organic sounds (opposed to traditional musical notes) and the lure of repetitive beat - that is typically not so present in classical as it is in dance music. 

Thursdays rehearsal was considerably quieter - with more time to hear inspirations from Mira and to be inspired myself. Musicians included,

Amir Farid - Piano
Zoe Knighton - Cello
Lotte Betts-Dean - Soprano
Aviva Endean - Clarinet
Anna Webb - Viola

While Wednesday seemed to focus on 'larger' pieces (if this makes sense), Thursdays works conveyed a sense of smaller tales of the sweet, sour and disruptive. The room was the, 'Salon' which is considerably smaller and much more intimate than the large hall. Sounds are more direct - there is less need for amplification and each piece feels as if it is being told to you by a close friend, rather than a speaker announcing to a crowd. 'Narcissus' is a piece aptly named and provokative in nature - to the point that you enjoy it's discord. In contrast, 'I am Alone', leaves you internally weeping and holding your loved ones close to you in joy and sorrow - together as one....

If I had to choose one night to attend then I would chose Saturday night in the Salon. (I have always liked smaller crowds and closer friends for company). Either of the nights would give you a whirlwind of emotions as generated by the musical repertoire - collecting you from your point of beginning and delivering you at the point of end - with the feeling of having gained experiences unique to the world.

Not to be missed......

Booking details: 
Friday in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall: Fables & Other Works can be found HERE
Saturday in the Salon: Looking for Cowslips can be found HERE