Speak Percussion



Major electro-acoustic work exploring the microphone as sonic object


A collaboration between new media artist Robin Fox and Speak’s Artistic Director, Eugene Ughetti, TRANSDUCER is a major electro-acoustic spatialised performance work. TRANSDUCER places the microphone at the centre of the creative investigation and redefines its function and potential as an expressive musical object. Kinetic sculptures and unorthodox modes of transduction form the musical material of this virtuosic and conceptual Australian work. TRANSDUCER repurposes microphone technology to tease out the inextricable fundamentals of creating, reproducing and manipulating electronic and acoustic signal.


Presented by City Rectial Hall (Unashamedly Original Festival)
22 July 2017
City Recital Hall, Sydney

Presented by SIPFest
19 October 2016
Komuniatas Salihara, Jakarta

Presented by Sonica Festival
29 October 2015
Tramway, Glasgow, UK

Presented by LASALLE
23 October 2015
LASALLE, Singapore

Presented by MONA FOMA
7.30pm (TRANSDUCER) & 9.15pm (MIKROPHONIE I) 15 January 2015
PW1, Stage 2, MONA FOMA, Hobart

Presented by the Arts Centre Melbourne
7.30pm 1 & 2 August 2014
Arts Centre Melbourne, Sidney Myer Music Bowl – Linlithgow Ave

Presented at the Australian Performing Arts Market
2.30pm Friday 21 Febuary 2014
Conservatorium Theatre, Queensland Conservatorium

Presented by Totally Huge New Music Festival
8pm Saturday 10th August 2013
Hackett Hall Gallery, Western Australian Museum
James Street, Perth



Robin Fox & Eugene Ughetti: Transducer (2013) 


Composition & Concept: Robin Fox & Eugene Ughetti
Performers: Eugene Ughetti (Artistic Director), Matthias Schack-Arnott (Artistic Associate), Kaylie Melville & Louise Devenish
Spatialisation & Sound Processing: Robin Fox
Sound Designer: Byron Scullin

Production Management & Sound Engineering: Nick Roux




Australian Percussion Solos

21st Century solo works by Australian composition luminaries

Eugene Small Cropped






















Speak Percussion’s Artistic Director Eugene Ughetti is a guiding light in Australian new music. His award-winning performances are informed by a theatrical and choreographic sensibility, underpinned by the authority and precision of formal classical training. In this rare solo event, Eugene performs 21st century works by Australia’s compositional luminaries including Liza Lim, Anthony Pateras, James Rushford, Thomas Meadowcroft and Alex Garsden. Be prepared for the new Australian masterworks of the solo percussion repertoire.


Anthony Pateras  Hypnagogics
Alex Garsden  Macrograph
James Rushford  Twin Resistance
Liza Lim  Love Letter
Thomas Meadowcroft  Plain Moving Landfill


Solo Percussion: Eugene Ughetti

Time & Venue

Presented by the Melbourne Recital Centre & Speak Percussion

6pm Saturday 14th December
Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre
Southbank, Melbourne




$35 / $25 via Melbourne Recital Centre



Common Ground

Speak Percussion & Brisbane’s Topology combine forces

Lo Res Topology_Common Ground 3

COMMON GROUND explores the intersection of musical, theatrical and political ideas between two of Australia’s new-music powerhouses, Melbourne’s Speak Percussion and Brisbane’s Topology. Themes ranging from the Cuban Missile Crisis, Australiana and club culture are explored across two distinct sets. All the works on the program are either composed by the ensembles or have been written specially for them by leading Australian composers. The concert will culminate with the two groups combining to perform as a mini-orchestra in a new realization of a Topology work featuring video projection and audio samples.

Click here to download a full Media Release

Time & Venue

Presented by Brisbane Powerhouse

7:30pm Saturday 9th November 2013
Brisbane Powerhouse
119 Lamington Street,  New Farm

Presented by Big West Festival

7:30pm Tuesday 26th November 2013
The Substation
1 Market St Newport


School Workshops

Speak will be presenting two FREE school workshops at the Substation on the day before the Melbourne performance, in which Speak will dissect the music, discuss the use of electronics, and perform excerpts of the program.

Primary School Workshop (1 hour)

11:00am, Monday 25 November
The Substation

Secondary School Workshop (1 hour)

1:00pm, Monday 25 November
The Substation

For bookings and inquiries please contact:
Jo Daniell
Education & Public Programs Coordinator
The Substation
Phone: 9391 1110
Email: jo.daniell@thesubstation.org.au


Speak Percussion: 

Thomas MeadowcroftThe Great Knot (2011) for percussion trio & electronics

Rohan DrapeSee Hearer Clearer (2012) for vibraphone, electromagetic piano & electronics

Matthew ShlomowitzPopular Contexts Vol. 6 (2013) for vibraphone, drumkit & sampler


Speak Percussion:

Eugene Ughetti (Artistic Director), Matthias Schack-Arnott (Artistic Associate) & Leah Scholes


John Babbage (saxophone), Robert Davidson (double bass), Bernard Hoey (viola), Therese MIlanovic (piano) & Christa Powell (violin)

The Black of the Star

Gerard Grisey’s masterwork for percussion sextet and pulsarsThe Black of the Star

Speak Percussion, in conjunction with SIAL Sound Studios (RMIT) and Melbourne Festival, present the first ever Melbourne performances of Gerard Grisey’s electro-acoustic masterwork The Black of the Star (Le Noir de l’Etoile).  Featuring new recordings of pulsars by CSIRO’s Astronomy and Space Science Division.

The piece takes as its musical framework the cosmic pulses of rotating neutron stars 7 million light years away. These stars, known as pulsars, rotate at up to thirty times a second, emitting a rotating beam of light. The pulsating electro-magnetic energy from a Pulsar can be converted into a sound recording, which The Black of the Star uses as both timekeeper and template for the sound world of the piece.

Australia is renowned for being a world leader in pulsar research; some of the earliest recordings in 1960′s were made by CSIRO Canberra. These recordings were most likely used for the original soundtrack of Grisey’s work.

Speak Percussion’s performances at the Melbourne Festival will feature new recordings of the Vela Pulsar captured from the Parkes Telescope, and beamed across Federation Square’s Deakin Edge by leading sound diffusionist Lawrence Harvey and the team from SIAL Sound Studios.  With six of Australia’s most virtuosic percussionists located around the audience at The Edge, and up to 20 spatialised speakers throughout the space, this will create a unique auditory experience.  The ethereal and ancient sounds of these stars and vibrant percussion will rotate around the space in all directions, enveloping the audience and evoking the revolving pulsars.

The Black of the Star represents Speak Percussion’s first collaboration with SIAL Sound Studios and the CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science Division.

Time & Venue

Presented by Speak Percussion & SIAL Sound Studios in association with Melbourne Festival

8pm Wednesday 16th October
8pm Thursday 17th October
10pm Thursday 17th October

Deakin Edge, Federation Square
Corner Flinders Street and Swanston Street




Gérard Grisey Le Noir de l’Etoile (The Black of the Star) for six percussionists & pulsars


Percussion: Eugene Ughetti (Artistic Director), Matthias Schack-Arnott (Artistic Associate), John Arcaro (courtesy of MSO), Leah Scholes, Louise Devenish & Paul Tanner
Sound Diffusion: Lawrence Harvey (Director, SIAL Sound Studios)
Audio Production Manager: Jeffrey Hannam
Lighting Design: Travis Hodgson
Pulsar Sonification: George Hobbs & Robert Hollow (CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science Division)


$25 / $20  via Melbourne Festival

Schallmaschine Maximus

A new site-specific work for 20 percussionists performed in a Roman Ruin


A major new sound/space/light project in the Schallmaschine series created by long standing collaborative partners Fritz Hauser and Boa Baumann.

Augusta Raurica is a Roman Theatre, archaeological site and open-air museum in Switzerland. It will be home to 20 percussionists in an impressive soundspace of complex large-scale textures created on a variety of carefully selected metal percussion instruments.

The audience will be placed on the former stage and will experience this epic space through sound in the round. A line-up of performers includes Ensemble XII (international), Bob Becker (Canada), Rob Kloet (Netherlands), Sylwia Zytynska (Poland), plus Australia’s Speak Percussion (Australia) and Synergy (Australia).

Time & Venue

Wednesday 28th – Saturday 31st August
Augusta Raurica, Roman Amphitheatre (open air)
Giebenacherstrasse 17, Augst, Switzerland


To book click here

Video of Schallmaschine ’07



City Jungle

Collaboration between electronic producer Terminal Sound System & Speak Percussion

City Jungle

City Jungle explores the dramatic sound world of underground British electronica genres from the 1990’s including Drum’n’Bass, Jungle & Glitch. That many percussionists have a fascination with these genres is perhaps not surprising. When at its best, the music weaves complex webs of syncopated rhythms and textures, its funk and soul heritage intensified by contemporary technology. Despite these connections and appeal, the music’s fast tempi have kept its performance largely the domain of DJs in nightclubs. Created in collaboration with leading Melbourne based producer Terminal Sound System, the piece weaves fragmented beats, distorted classical timbres and ambient resonances into the world of underground club culture.


Speak Percussion: notation and arrangement
Terminal Sound System: programming and composition
Eugene Ughetti: Artistic Director, Percussion
Matthias Schack-Arnott: Artistic Associate, Percussion

Past Performances

Brisbane Trilling Wire Series, Griffith University, 8pm Thursday 7 February 2013. Presented by Clocked Out
Melbourne Metropolis New Music Festival. Melbourne Recital Centre (Salon), 6pm & 9pm Friday 19 April 2013. Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre and Speak Percussion

Sydney Seymour Centre, 8pm Wednesday 19 – Sunday 22 October 2011. Presented by Synergy and Speak Percussion in association with the Seymour Centre
Melbourne Melbourne Planetarium, 8pm Thursday 24 November 2011. Presented by Melbourne Planetarium and Big West Festival in conjunction with the New Music Network

Conflux – One River Project


Conflux is a major new composition by Kim Chalmers combined with new contemporary dance works which draw inspiration from collected stories of life at the confluence of the great Murray and Darling Rivers. This premiere performance, featuring choreography by Sally Hederics and original music by Kim Chalmers, brings together young local dancers to explore ideas of social, cultural and regional identity; looking at how these rivers truly define our community in more ways than simple geography.

Speak Percussion will perform live as the dancers physically explore spiritual, human and industrial aspects of this unique environment. A contextual thread of water flows throughout the work in reference to its importance as the lifeblood of this district and so many others like it across the Murray Darling Basin.


Composer: Kim Chalmers
Choreographer: Sally Hederics
Performers: Steve Falk, Laura Holian, Matthew Horsley & Arwen Johnson

Time & Venue

4pm-8pm Saturday 25th August
Belconnen Arts Centre
118 Emu Bank, Belconnen, ACT
Free entry

Past Performances

2013 – Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival

USA/EURO Tour 2013

Speak tours two new programs to Europe & USA


Australian ElectroAcoustic Percussion

For the first part of their tour, Speak performs a program of works that shift between avant-garde pop, conceptual minimalism, progressive rock and noise. Each work subverts conventional instruments by using domestic objects, micro-instruments, found sound, tape machines and a midi keyboard blurring the boundaries between percussion and electronics. Featuring world premieres by Matthew Shlomowitz and Thomas Meadowcroft.

2 March                  Eklekto Percussion Festival IV, Geneva, Switzerland

16 March                MaerzMusik, Berliner Festspiele, Berlin, Germany

21 March                Third Coast Percussion Studio, Chicago, USA

Vanishing Languages

Composer Kevin James’ ambitious new multi-media work Vanishing Languages features stereophonic audio content collected from field recordings of languages on the verge of extinction. This premiere performance is presented by MiShinnah Productions and Speak Percussion performs in collaboration with ETHEL and Del Sol string quartets, the [kaj] Ensemble and Nonsemble 6.

28-29 March          Roulette, Brooklyn, New York, USA

5-6 April                  ODC Dance Commons, San Francisco, USA


Speak Percussionists: Eugene Ughetti (Artistic Director), Matthias Schack-Arnott & Leah Scholes

Thomas Meadowcroft: Guest Performer at MaerzMusik Festival


A performance-installation for one person at a time.

Chrysalis – SPOR Festival

Chrysalis explores the archetypal human emotions that are triggered by confined spaces. Percussionist Matthias Schack-Arnott has collaborated with Büro Architects to create a unique structure that is both a percussion instrument and an architectural micro-space. Alone and enclosed in complete darknesss, one person at a time experiences the work from inside the structure. Matthias uses falling grains of rice and sand to perform on the exterior walls, creating an immersive 10-minute composition that references live burial and pre-natal experience.


Concept, Composition, Performance: Matthias Schack-Arnott
Design: Büro Architects – Paul von Chrismar, Bronwyn Stocks & Scarlett Moloney
Construction: Adam Stewart

Lighting: Bronwyn Pringle

Past Performances


Melbourne Blindside Gallery, 23-27 May 2012. Presented by Next Wave Festival and Speak Percussion


Århus (Denmark) Spanien 19B, 9-12 May 2013. Presented by SPOR Festival





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