Speak Percussion


It Looks Like You Are Doing Something


In this world premiere for Big West, percussionist Eugene Ughetti performs a series of works that cross the boundaries of music and choreography, challenging us to rethink how we see, hear and move.

This virtuosic showcase features a dance work for percussionist by world renowned Texas-based choreographer Deborah Hay, as well as new works by Eugene Ughetti, Melbourne composers David Young and Alex Garsden, and Sydney choreographer Martin del Amo.

Time & Venue

Presented by Speak Percussion and Aphids for Big West Festival.

8pm Thursday 26 & Friday 27 November 2009
Phoenix Youth Centre, 72 Buckley Street, Footscray


Deborah Hay – Seeing, seeing, seeing

David Young – Natura Morta (World Premiere)

Martin Del Amo – Inaudible (World Premiere)

Alex Garsden – Macrograph (World Premiere)

Síppal, dobbal nádihegedüvel



We are delighted to be giving Melbourne’s first performance of Ligeti’s only work for percussion ensemble Síppal, dobbal nádihegedüvel for mezzo voice and percussion quartet. The work, translating literally as With Pipes, Drums, Fiddles was composed in 2000 and is a song cycle on poetry by Sándor Weöres. Written towards the end of his life, its language is in Ligeti’s great colouristic and complex style incorporating folkloric Hungarian elements.
As part of ANAM’s Haydn and Ligeti focus we will be joined by the wonderful musicians of the Australian National Academy of Music and other Melbourne based solists for a mixed Haydn Ligeti program.

Time & Venue

Presented by Speak Percussion & the Australian National Academy of Music

7pm Thursday 5 November 2009
South Melbourne Town Hall, 210 Bank Street, South Melbourne


Guest vocal soloist: Jess Aszodi

Percussion: Eugene Ughetti, Peter Neville, John Arcaro, Timothy Philips

Speak & Unspoken

Speak Unspoken

Speak and Unspoken, an idea conceived by American pianist Donna Coleman, was inspired by a 2004 performance of Swiss composer-percussionist Fritz Hauser’s Double Exposition presented by renowned Speak Percussion in concert at Melbourne’s BMW Edge. She imagined an aurally and visually arresting experience in which the boundaries between piano and percussion, performers and instruments, performers and composers, improvisation and composition, sounds and sights are fluid and permeable, a performance in which piano and pianist swim in a sea of percussion instruments in virtuoso exploration of space, silence and stillness.

For the September 2009 world premiere, Speak Percussion members Eugene Ughetti, Peter Neville and Matthias Schack-Arnott will join Donna Coleman, Fritz Hauser and Boa Baumann for ten days of intensive contemplation and rehearsal directed and composed by Fritz Hauser in collaboration with all involved artists.

Time & Venue

7pm & 9pm Tuesday 22 September 2009
Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Southbank


Fritz Hauser                                      small talk (solo performed by Fritz Hauser)

Fritz Hauser/Boa Baumann       Speak & Unspoken for pianist and three percussionists



Fritz Hauser – Percussion, Composer & Artistic Director

Boa Baumann – Architect

Donna Colman – Piano

Eugene Ughetti – Percussion

Matthias Schack-Arnott – Percussion

Peter Neville – Percussion

Pateras Percussion Portrait



After a long and successful relationship with Anthony Pateras, Speak Percussion and Clocked Out Productions present a portrait of his extensive body of works for percussion, including two new pieces commissioned especially for this concert.

Mutant Theatre Act III is the latest instalment in an ongoing collaboration between Pateras and Tomlinson (the first act premiered in 2001 at the Melbourne Museum). The performer is surrounded by a vast array of timbres, explored through short examinations of micro-sets contained within this. A bizarre quicksand results, maximalism drowning in minimalism, buoyed by rich orchestration and elastic tempo.

Transmutations for percussion sextet (2002)
Transmutations is a 5 movement monolith commissioned by Australian new music cornerstone Peter Neville in 2002. At times brutal and unrelenting, as well as spacious and poetic, the piece is a Xenakis-tinged exploration of layered timbral palettes generated from highly physical performance. Pateras originally conducted the VCA ensemble for his 2004 recording Mutant Theatre, released on the prestigious Tzadik imprint.

Hypnagogics for 25 microsounds, crotales and tape (2005)
Inspired by the 1960s works of Robert Ashley and Alvin Lucier, Hypnagogics was written as a brief study in psychoacoustics for Eugene Ughetti. The performer has 5 sets of incredibly tiny instruments, amplified and thus transformed into something completely alien. The crotales are tuned around the tape drone, creating variable beating frequencies in the space that intensify as the piece progresses.

Refractions for percussion sextet (2008)
Refractions incorporates some of the spatial ensemble techniques of Transmutations, but explores the amorphous sonic capabilities of percussion sextet more deeply. Written in one continuous movement, it is flavoured with some of Pateras’ more recent interests in music from Ethiopia and Burundi, combined with Helmut Lachenmann’s concept of acoustic musique concréte. A supersonic close to an unforgettable concert.

sical 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.

Time & Venue

Presented by Speak Percussion, Clocked Out and Melbourne Recital Centre

Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 June 2009
The Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre


Eugene Ughetti – Percussion

Matthias Schack-Arnott – Percussion

Peter Neville – Percussion

Nat Grant – Percussion

Vanessa Tomlinson – Percussion (Clocked Out)

Nozomi Omote – Percussion (Clocked Out)

American Masters

USA Masters lo res

The depth and diversity of 20th Century American music composition is staggering and its contribution to the genre of the percussion ensemble is second to none. From the conceptual and political West coast schools to the modernist and minimalist works of the East coast. Experience in this single concert program master percussion works from all extremes of the American culture, including the 100 year old master Elliott Carter’s work Tintinnabulation from 2008.

Time & Venue

Presented by Speak Percussion & Melbourne Recital Centre

6pm Saturday 6 June 2009
The Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre


John Cage               Quartet for Tom-Toms
James Tenney       Pika-don (Australian Premiere) with electronics
Elliott Carter         
Alvin Lucier          
Music for Snare Drum, Pure Wave Oscillator and One or More Reflective Surfaces (Australian Premiere)
Steve Reich          
Clapping Music


Percussion – Eugene Ughetti, Matthias Schack-Arnott, Peter Neville, Gary France, Greg Sully & Tim Phillips

Graphic Music


Catherine’s large-scale graphic scores are both visual works of art and musically fascinating. As a visual artist and composer/performer Catherine Schieve has been investigating the deep congruence of sonic and visual expression for over 25 years. This program will feature a series of four seminal works Catherine created in the 1980s. The works are also large visual arts works created on canvas and were designed to be ‘read’ and performed by musicians trained in specific ways (redefining the act of translating visual gestures to sound), often on homemade or adapted percussion instruments. The performance environment will be set-up as an open installation environment where the percussionists traverse the space in front of Catherine’s strategically placed ‘graphic’ scores. The audience will be free to move, listen and view the works at their discretion.

Time & Venue

Presented by Speak Percussion & Melbourne Recital Centre

6pm, 3 June 2009
Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre


Blue Line by Catherine Schieve

Web by Catherine Schieve

Nine Levels of Earth and Lustre by Catherine Schieve


Composition: Catherine Schieve

Performers: Eugene Ughetti (Artistic Director), Matthias Schack-Arnott, Leah Scholes, Warren Burt & Catherine Schieve


Pianissimo Percussion



An intimate performance of some of the quietest and most subtle percussion works written.

As direct response to Melbourne’s recent gift, the Melbourne Recital Centre, Speak Percussion are excited to be presenting this performance at the extreme of auditory experience. A series of poetic and extremely fragile works for Percussion will push the acoustic boundaries of the Salon through an unorthodox use of percussion. Feldman’s King of Denmark is now recognized as one of the seminal works of the percussion literature and juxtaposes perfectly beside the focused and highly complex language and instrumentation of the Johnson and Pauset. We are also delighted to be presenting the first performance of a new work by Melbourne composer James Rushford, his second for Speak, which promises to be at least as intricate and delicate as his first and features a large set of chromatic Angklung.

Time & Venue

Presented by Speak Percussion & Melbourne Recital Centre

6pm Saturday 18 April 2009
Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre


Morton Feldman      The King of Denmark (solo)
Brice Pauset               De Prolatione (Australian Premiere) (solo)
Fritz Hauser               Zeichnung (duo)
Evan Johnson            Hyphen (solo)
James Rushford        you imagined every encounter was real (trio, World Premiere)


Percussion: Eugene Ughetti, Matthias Schack-Arnott & Peter Neville


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