Melbourne-based percussionist Kaylie Melville is a soloist and chamber musician dedicated to contemporary music performance. Noted for her “extraordinary ability to impart a sense of musicality to even the smallest gestures” (Partial Durations), Kaylie is a core artist with new music pioneers Speak Percussion, a co-director of the contemporary ensemble Rubiks Collective and frequently works with leading Australian ensembles and orchestras. In addition to performance, her practice incorporates improvising, directing, curating and education.
As a passionate advocate of new music Kaylie has performed in the world premieres of major Australian works, including Kate Neal’s ‘Semaphore’ (Arts House 2015) and as the percussion soloist in Jack Symond’s ‘Double Purity’ double concerto (BIFEM 2016). Her festival appearances include the Metropolis New Music Festival, Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music, Melbourne Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Salihara Festival (IND), and the Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention (US).
Kaylie has participated in a number of prestigious new music courses including the Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music (DEU, 2016), Bang on a Can Summer Festival (USA, 2015) and So Percussion’s Summer Institute at Princeton University (USA, 2013). In 2017 she has been selected as a fellow for Classical:NEXT (NLD), an international forum for classical and art music held in Rotterdam, and for the inaugural Blackbird Creative Lab (USA), an immersive chamber music training program directed by the internationally-renowned ensemble Eighth Blackbird. www.kayliemelville.com
Louise Devenish is a percussionist whose practice incorporates performance, research and education. Key projects include APRA/AMC award-winning solo series Music for One Percussionist, co-directing The Sound Collectors duo, percussing for Australia’s leading percussion group Speak Percussion (Vic) and electroacoustic sextet Decibel (WA). She regularly performs throughout Australasia, Europe, North America and the UK; highlights include performances at the Nagoya and Shanghai World Expos, Ojai Music Festival, Tage für Neue Musik, The Barbican’s Sound Unbound and Tongyeong International Music Festival. A passionate advocate of new and Australian music, Louise has commissioned over 50 works for percussion. Louise is Head of Percussion at the University of Western Australia School of Music and her research in Australian music, performance practice and composer-performer collaboration is published widely. She is currently writing a book on Australian contemporary percussion history for Routledge’s Research in Music series.
John Arcaro has been a member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra since 1990. He has also been a guest timpanist/percussionist with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa Japan, Malaysian Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. He has worked as a chamber musician and soloist with ensembles such as the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Synergy Percussion, Speak Percussion, Astra, Aphids, The Pokrovsky Ensemble Russia and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Performance highlights have included a critically acclaimed performance of Stockhausen’s Kontakte with pianist Michael Kieran Harvey in 1996. John has recorded numerous film scores and performed with a wide range of popular artists, including Frank Sinatra, Olivia Newton-John, KISS and Sting. John studied in New York and Philadelphia with leading orchestral percussionists and graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) with high distinction. He is currently a member of staff at the University of Melbourne.
Leah is a percussionist with extensive experience across many areas of the performing arts. In addition to her regular involvement as a member of Speak Percussion, she is also composer and performer with Barking Spider Visual Theatre. Leah performs regularly with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and Queensland Symphony Orchestra. She is also an active chamber musician, appearing regularly with ensembles such as Arcko Symphonic Project and Beautiful Rubble. She currently teaches percussion and music theory at Melbourne Girls Grammar School.
In 2007 Leah completed her Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne University, during which she was awarded the Professor’s Prize for the Most Outstanding Postgraduate Recital. She was also the recipient of the 2009 Keith and Elisabeth Murdoch Traveling Fellowship (Music), which saw her travel to Basel, Switzerland, to study with renowned improviser Fritz Hauser.
In 2009 Leah attended the Roots and Rhizomes contemporary percussion masterclass with Steven Schick at The Banff Centre, Canada. She has also traveled to Senegal for intensive study of the djembe and sabar drums with renowned drummer Aly N’Diaye Rose in 2003.
Leah is currently pursuing the study and integration of theatrical elements in her work, focusing particularly on visual and physical theatre.
Peter Neville is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and was appointed Head Of Percussion there in 2000. Whilst he works across the range of musical styles he has a particular commitment to new music. As the percussionist of the ELISION Ensemble for twenty-three years, Peter has been involved with practically all their concerts, compact discs, and international tours. Works including Chris Dench’s Driftglass, for percussion and ensemble and Richard Barrett’s abglanzbeladen- auseinandergeschreiben, have been written for and premiered by him. Peter is also a member of groups including Jouissance, the David Chesworth Ensemble, The Raga Dolls Salon Orchestra and SPEAK Percussion and he has recorded and toured internationally with each of them.
His orchestral work has included tours to Europe with the Australian Youth Orchestra and Japan with the Melbourne Symphony. With that orchestra he was also part of the Australian premiere of Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony, in the presence of the composer, and he took part in their Australian tour with Elton John. He has performed in numerous musicals, including West Side Story, Cats and Company and in three Australian tours of the Broadway version of The Pirates of Penzance. He toured Australia as musical director of Tap Dogs. Other theatrical tours have included the Australia/China tour of Playbox Theatre’s Cho-Cho-San, and Richard the Third with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Within dance orchestras he has supported performances of the Bolshoi Ballet, the Russian State Ballet, the Nureyev Farewell Tour and the Netherlands Dance Theatre. With HumanVeins Dance Theatre he took part in the Australian premieres of Iannis Xenakis’ Oresteia, and was guest drummer with the Balanescu Quartet in their three Australian seasons of Possessed with the Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Theatre. Peter Neville appears on CD recordings ranging from pop albums by Peter Andre and Deborah Conway to the experimental industrial album “New Maps of Hell” by sound artist Paul Schutze.
In March 2006 Peter was Creative Director for the Commonwealth Games International Youth Masterclass In Percussion.