Speak Percussion

Past

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.


Artists

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


Past Performances

2013
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

2011
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



Andrew Byrne in Profile

Performance and Broadcast for choir, percussion ensemble and solo piano

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New works by New York-based Australian composer Andrew Byrne (New York) are the focus of this concert / live broadcast / recording project in collaboration with ABC Classic FM.


Program

Andrew Byrne  Whispers and Cries (2008) for soloists, choir, percussion ensemble and keyboards
Andrew Byrne  New Works (2011) for percussion ensemble “A Ringing World” and solo piano, first performance


Artists

Percussion: Speak Percussion
Piano: Michael Kieran Harvey
The Astra Choir and soloists conducted by John McCaughey


Time & Venue

2pm Saturday 24 September 2011
Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Centre Southbank


Flesh & Ghost

Recent works for percussion by three of Australia’s finest composers

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Perth’s Totally Huge New Music Festival presents Speak Percussion in concert, performing works written for the group by some of Australia’s most dynamic composers. The program is book-ended by two large-scale works by Australia’s wunderkind of the avant-garde, Anthony Pateras. Refractions moves between fierce and fragile textures, using sounds of bamboo whirring through air, ceramic tiles being struck, and the crackling of plastic wrapping to create a rich musical landscape. In the haunting Flesh & Ghost, 12 percussionists throw undulating waves of sound above a bed of chattering fragmented material.

Surface Given Radiance by Luke Paulding utilises exclusively pitched resonant metal instruments including 80 micro-tonally tuned aluminum tubes. The trio creates tightly woven textures with explosive force and the blazing resonance of metallic overtones.

This new trio by Berlin-based composer Thomas Meadowcroft, The Great Knot, is inspired by the lo-fi sounds of a Casio keyboard and builds rhythmic textures with sonorities that evoke a forgotten sound world. It demands a peculiar physical approach to percussion whilst alluding to a domestic environment.


Program

Anthony Pateras  Refractions
Luke Paulding  Surface Given Radiance
Thomas Meadowcroft  The Great Knot
Anthony Pateras  Flesh & Ghost


Time & Venue

Presented by the Totally Huge New Music Festival

8pm Saturday 17 September 2011
Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre, Perth


Le Noir de l’Etoile

Gerard Grisey’s masterpiece for six spatialised percussionists and interstellar pulsars

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Grisey’s epic percussion masterwork, Le Noir de l’Etoile, 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 beam of light that turns at the same time as the star, like a kind of cosmic lighthouse. The pulsating energy from a pulsar can be converted into a sound recording, which in Le Noir de l’Etoile is used as both a timekeeper and a template for the sound world of piece.

Spatialised on podiums surrounding the audience, the six percussionists act as conduits of interstellar sound. Pulsing textures build and deteriorate; resonances erupt into the space only to be subsumed by others. Le Noir de l’Etoile takes the listener on an hour-long journey in which sounds are experienced as having a life of their own, navigating through time and space.


Time & Venue

Presented by the Totally Huge New Music Festival

8pm Thursday 15 September 2011
Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre, Perth


Us and Others

Gian Slater’s Invenio Singers with Speak Percussion

Gian Slater at MCA Freedman Jazz 2010, Opera House, Sydney, NSW

Voices en masse, the power of percussion – this is no ordinary choral work. Visionary vocalist, composer and performance artist Gian Slater convenes a hand-picked group of singers to take on Australian contemporary music legends Speak Percussion in a two-night only performance of a brand new work that thrillingly dismantles the boundaries of vocal music.

Us and Others is a new show that harnesses 18 voices and a cracking percussion arsenal in a performance of devastating power, emotion and beauty. Gian Slater’s virtuosic score draws on the influences of Bjork, Carmina Burana, Squarepusher and Steve Reich to create a musical world of rich complexity, melodicism and potent rhythmic power. With the mercurial brilliance of Eugene Ughetti’s Speak Percussion and Slater’s own internationally acclaimed Invenio Singers, Us and Others brings singing, percussion and choreography into a new world of Australian contemporary music.


Time & Venue

8pm Thursday 8 & Friday 9 September 2011
Beckitt Theatre, The Malthouse


Speak Emerging Artists Performance

5 new works by Australia’s next generation of composers

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The premiere performance of 5 new works, developed by leading young composers during the 2012 Emerging Artist Program.

These works are the culmination of an intensive collaboration between Speak Percussion, guest composition lecturer Thomas Meadowcroft and 10 Emerging artists selected from around Australia.


Program

Chris Williams (NSW) Il Pleut
Owen Salome (NSW)  Ensõ
Micah Brown (QLD) Evolve Theory
James Paul (WA/VIC) Cephalopoda
Emily Sheppard (VIC)  The Elements

Premiere performance of all works, written for percussion quartet.


Emerging Artists – Percussion

Anna Ng (VIC)
Kaylie Melville (WA/VIC)
Lionel Pierson (WA)
Madeleine Chwasta (VIC)
Rory Hannan (VIC)


Time & Venue

6pm Friday 15 April 2011
Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School

Supported by Arts Victoria, Cybec Foundation, Myer Foundation, Optimum Percussion, Rhythmscape Publishing and Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School.


Thomas Meadowcroft Percussion Portrait

Speak Percussion present a portrait concert by one Australia’s most innovative voices in composition. Based in Berlin since 1998, Thomas has composed for Europe’s leading ensembles includign Ensemble Recherche, Klangforum Wien and Les Percussions De Strasbourg.

Thomas’s works reflect on contemporary culture with insight and humour, often exploring themes of cultural identity and lost meaning.  For Speak Percussion Thomas composed a major new piece for Speak Percussion for percussion trio and electronics entitled The Great Knot. This work is inspired by migratory patters of the almost extinct Great Knot bird, which migrates huge distances every year between Siberia and Australia without any stopover. To see a video of this work, click here.


Program

Meadowcroft  Home Organs (1999/2000, sextet)
Meadowcroft  Plain Moving Landfill (2003, solo)
Meadowcroft  The Great Knot (2011, trio) World Premiere


Artists

Composer: Thomas Meadowcroft
Percussion: Eugene Ughetti (Artistic Director), Matthias Schack-Arnott, Peter Neville, Matthew Horsley
Percussion/Keyboards: Leah Scholes, Laura Holian


Performances

2011
Melbourne Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Centre Southbank, 6pm Saturday 16 April


Audio

 


Canons & Ions

Epic percussion works at MONA FOMA 2011

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In celebration of Speak Percussion’s 10th Birthday, the MONA FOMA will present an event of some of the most significant percussion music ever to have been presented in Australia.

The program will feature large-scale works by Australian composers Liza Lim, Anthony Pateras and Erik Griswold plus masterpieces by European and American greats. These programs span the entire duration of the percussion ensemble canon starting with the iconic work Ionisation from the 1930’s through to a world premiere by Anthony Pateras.

This once-in-a-decade project has at its centerpiece two major works for percussion 12tet, in an instrumental formation never before presented in Australia.


Program

Edgard Varese  Ionisation (1931) for percussion twelvetet with piano
Iannis Xenakis  Persephassa (1969) for percussion sextet
James Tenney  3 pieces for drum quartet (1974/75) for percussion quartet
Anthony Pateras  Flesh and Ghost (2010/11) for percussion twelvetet


Artists

Percussion: Eugene Ughetti (Artistic Director), Matthias Schack-Arnott, Peter Neville, Leah Scholes, Arwen Johnston, Steve Fitzgerald, Guy du Blêt, Daniel Richardson, Louise Devenish, Timothy Constable, Matthew Horsley, Ross Karre, Claire Edwardes, Domenico Melchiorre
Piano: Anthony Pateras


Time & Venue

Saturday 15 January 2011
Shed No. 1 Princes Wharf, Hobart

Supported by Arts Victoria and the Australia Council for the Arts.



Pulsars & Angels

Opening night of MONA FOMA 2011

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In celebration of Speak Percussion’s 10th Birthday, the MONA FOMA will present an event of some of the most significant percussion music ever to have been presented in Australia.

The program will feature large-scale works by Australian composers Liza Lim, Anthony Pateras and Erik Griswold plus masterpieces by European and American greats. These programs span the entire duration of the percussion ensemble cannon starting with the iconic work Ionisation from the 1930’s through to a world premiere by Anthony Pateras.

This once in a decade project has at its centrepiece two major works for percussion 12tet, in an instrumental formation never before presented in Australia.


Program

Anthony Pateras  Refractions (2008) for percussion sextet
Erik Griswold  Strings Attached (1999) for percussion sextet
Liza Lim  City of Falling Angels (2006) for percussion twelvetet
Gerard Grisey  Le Noir de l’Étoile (1991) for percussion sextet


Artists

Percussion: Eugene Ughetti (Artistic Director), Matthias Schack-Arnott, Peter Neville, Leah Scholes, Arwen Johnston, Steve Fitzgerald, Guy du Blêt, Daniel Richardson, Louise Devenish, Timothy Constable, Matthew Horsley, Ross Karre, Claire Edwardes, Domenico Melchiorre


Time & Venue

Friday 14 January 2011
Shed No. 1 Princes Wharf, Hobart

Supported by Arts Victoria and the Australia Council for the Arts.



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