Speak Percussion


Speak at THNMF (Perth)

Pisaro small

Speak Percussion returns to Perth’s Totally Huge New Music Festival to perform our audio-visual program Fluorophone and Michaela Pisaro’s epic work for 100 percussionists, A wave and waves.

Fluorophone creates a kaleidoscopic sound world in which the central instruments radiate, flicker, glow and burn. Analogue and digital fluorescent lights, the naked flame, strobe lights and custom-built LED discs are combined with percussion to create a program in which the music and lighting design are one and the same. Fluorophone moves between noise, theatrical music and virtuosic instrumentalism, in a synesthetic display of light and sound. Featuring specially commissioned works by a prominent team of leading composers.

A wave and waves is a work of monumental scale, experienced with intimate immediacy—as countless tiny moments of friction, gravity and vibration heave into life like a single, pulsing organism. In this rare, deep listening experience the audience sits among the performers to experience the music as if part of an ocean of sound. Colossal percussive waves are created by layers of imperceptibly soft sounds— sandpaper on stone, seeds falling on glass, bowed bells—forming a textural landscape bristling with detail.

Time & Venue


7.30pm Wednesday 25 October
Subiaco Arts Centre

A wave and waves: 

1pm and 4pm Sunday 29 October
Midland Railway Workshops



Tickets for A wave and waves can be purchased here

Tickets for Fluorophone can be purchased here





Before Nightfall #4



For the fourth instalment of Speak’s Before Nightfall we’re excited to be working with esteemed percussion soloist Steven Schick (USA).

Before Nightfall is a series of new artistic encounters between Speak Percussion and invited guest artists. Each encounter will: 1. Occur across the course of a single day. 2. Culminate in a performance and a recorded release.

Steven Schick is a percussionist and conductor from the United States, specializing in contemporary music. He is Distinguished Professor of Music at University of California, San Diego and is currently the Music Director and Conductor of the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra. For the past 40 years he has championed contemporary percussion music as a performer and teacher, by commissioning and premiering more than 150 new works for percussion. He was the percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars of New York City from 1992 to 2002, and from 2000 to 2004 served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2012 he became the first Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

Time & Venue

8pm Wed 4 October
Main Hall, Collingwood Arts Precinct, Melbourne
Free Entry, but bookings are essential via speak@speakpercussion.com

Assembly Operation

Assembly Operation Image lo res

Three percussionists dutifully form an assembly line to extract music from everyday objects.

Drawing on the visual, sonic and conceptual qualities of the one Yuan note, using paper, packaging, electronic toys and traditional objects, Speak Percussion delivers a loaded sonic odyssey.

In this major new collaboration between Eugene Ughetti, performance maker Clare Britton and visual artists Cyrus Tang and Jia Jia Chen, dark video sequences and minimalistic set design conjure surreal reflections on mass-production.

Assembly Operation manufactures high quality sound by crunching and grinding low worth goods.


Eugene Ughetti

Clare Britton

Video Artist:
Cyrus Tang

Sound Designer:
Nick Roux

Lighting Designer/Production Manager:
Richard Dinnen (Megafun)

Ceramicist/Visual Artist:
Jia Jia Chen

Kaylie Melville, Matthias Schack-Arnott, Eugene Ughetti

Michaela Coventry

Damian Stephens @ DDT

Past Performances

Presented by Arts House 

7.30pm, 5 – 9 September 2017

North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne

Field Sever Points



For Field Sever Points, percussive objects are suspended en masse to create elaborate kinetic systems, with the vertical movement of each suspended point programmed down to the millimeter using an electronically engineered system. Musically informed by Iannis Xenakis’ stochastic methods in which hail patterns can provide mathematical frameworks for rhythm and texture. A hovering plane of percussive objects suspended above granite and water, moving of their own accord in shifting formations like strange acts of nature. Exploring the mysterious undercurrents that connect the singular and the plural, the individual and the chorus. The act of sound creation is ritualised, physicalised and continually recast.
Field Sever Points is a continuation of Schack-Arnott’s exploration of hyper-expressive percussive environments.


Presented by Metro Arts

23 to 25 November 2017
Metro Arts, Brisbane


General admission: $15


Direction, Composition, Performance – Matthias Schack-Arnott
Electrical engineering – Mark Stuhrmann & Richard Allen
Production Manger - Michael Carr
Production consultant – Richard Dinnen
Producer – Michaela Coventry


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