Speak Percussion

Emerging Artists Program

The Speak Emerging Artist Program ran annually from 2011-2015, providing elite training for emerging percussionists and composers from across Australia, aged between 18-28 years old. Each year, Speak invited a new International Guest Lecturer to lead the program alongside Speak’s Artistic Director, Eugene Ughetti. Past International Guest Lecturers have included Thomas Meadowcroft, Mark Applebaum, Richard Barrett, Kroumata and more.

SEAP 2015: Applebaum

Applebaum small

The SEAP 2015 focussed on the Australian premiere of a newly commissioned work by Mark Applebaum (Associate Professor of Composition and Theory, Stanford University), and will be lead by the composer himself alongside Speak’s Artistic Director Eugene Ughetti. The 2015 Emerging Artist Program will also feature performances and contributions from some of Australia’s most innovative percussive artists. The program is open to 18-28 year old percussionists. The program is also open to passive participants specialising in composition and percussion from secondary, tertiary and professional levels.


The Emerging Artists Program will focus on the interpretation and performance of Composition Machine #1, a solo percussion work by Mark Applebaum. Participants will share in an open learning environment where professional and emerging artists discuss and develop artistic approaches to the work. Mark Applebaum will give lectures on his compositions and artistic practice, as well as a performance masterclass on Composition Machine #1. The 2015 Emerging Artist Program will culminate with multiple simultaneous performances of Composition Machine #1, performed by the Emerging Artists, guest artists and Speak Percussion at the Australian National Academy of Music.



All events will take place at the Australian National Academy of Music, 210 Bank Street, South Melbourne.

09 Feb Applications open

27 Feb Applications close

02 March Program Offers Distributed

06 March Closing Date to Accept Offers

18 – 21 March Emerging Artists Program @ ANAM

21 March Mark Applebaum Composition Machine #1 @ ANAM



To download the application form here.

SEAP 2014: Barrett


APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN! Click here to download yours.

Speak Percussion is excited to present this year’s Emerging Artist Program with a focus on composition, improvisation & performance within electro-acoustic music.  We have brought together a stellar team to lead this program, including members of the Spatial Informational Architecture Laboratory from RMIT University, leading British composer / improviser Richard Barrett (Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, FURT), local percussion virtuoso Peter Neville (Convener of Percussion, Australian National Academy of Music & Head of Percussion/Chair, New Music Studio, Melbourne Conservatorium Of Music) and Speak’s Artistic Director Eugene Ughetti.  

The program is open to 18-28 year old percussionists and drummers who are advanced in both notated and improvised musical contexts, as well as emerging composers with a pre existing track record of working with percussion and/or electronics.


The emerging composers will each workshop and develop 2 new electro-acoustic percussion pieces – one using conventional notation, the other structured improvisation – under the guidance of Richard Barrett and entire team of mentors.  Barrett’s own compositional practice spans complex notational methods and structured improvisation, and varies from large scale orchestral works (BBC Symphony Orchestra) to chamber ensemble pieces (ELISION Ensemble).  Lawrence Harvey and the SIAL Sound Studios team will provide the composers with expert tutelage in live sound spatialisation and audio processing techniques. Composers will be provided access to state-of-the-art technology (3 x rooms of 8-channel diffusion systems in a cube formation) which their compositions will be built around. Lawrence will deliver a series of lectures covering some of the master works of electroacoustic music with an emphasis on the percussion repertoire. They will also have the opportunity to direct their own rehearsals and receive one-on-one time with the mentors including expert advice about writing for percussion.


The participating emerging artists will take part in a series of intensive workshops on group improvisational techniques lead by Richard Barrett and Eugene Ughetti.  The workshops will focus on the creation of improvised works that move between highly structured and open-ended forms, and will allow the participants to perform alongside the mentors.


The emerging artists will be tutored in the performance of complex notated music, with a focus on the music of Richard Barrett.  Peter Neville will guide the participants on learning new notational systems and in ensemble playing. Speak Percussion will present a series of open-rehearsals of new pieces by Richard Barrett, which the emerging artists will attend. The 2014 Emerging Artist Program will culminate in the recording and performance of six new electro-acoustic works by the emerging composers on the 20th of December 2014.


WEEK 1 & 2 (14 – 25 July)
Workshops, lecture demonstrations, creative development on the new compositions and open-rehearsals of new Richard Barrett pieces by Speak Percussion.

WEEK 3 (15 – 20 December)
Rehearsals and recordings of emerging composers works. Public performance at RMIT’s Design Hub.



SIAL Sound Studios are part of the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory housed in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT.  It is one of only a small number of international groups devoted to auditory-based research and teaching located in a school of architecture.  Students access the Studios through cross-University electives.  Postgraduate study is offered by research at Masters and PhD levels, candidates’ home disciplines include architecture, sound design, composition, acoustics, environmental management, computer science and performance.  A vertically integrated scholarship model is applied in the Studios that aligns research, teaching and cultural activities across three domains, Spatial Sound Performance and Design, Urban Soundscape Research and Design and Acoustic Design.

Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne is a member of SwissFoundations, the association of grant foundations in Switzerland, and supports projects which promote the understanding of new music and the improvement of access to, and new discovery of, technical and interpretive knowledge.  It supports young professional musicians, conductors and composers and the realisation of educational projects in the fields of visual art and music that relate to a larger context, have a long-term perspective, and promise fruitful results.  At the same time, the Foundation also promotes the understanding of these fields and contributes to imparting their importance.

How to Apply

We are now accepting applications from outstanding percussionists, drummers and composers, aged 18 – 28, who are Australian or New Zealand residents. Application requirements are listed in the application form, which can be downloaded here.

Key Dates

07 April Applications open

15 May Applications close

23 May Program Offers Distributed

30 May Closing date to accept offers

14 – 18 July Emerging Artists Program @ SIAL (Week 1)

21 – 25 July Emerging Artists Program @ SIAL (Week 2)

26 July Richard Barrett Portrait Concert @ SIAL

15 – 19 December Emerging Artists Program Rehearsals @ SIAL (Week 3)

20 December Emerging Artists Showcase Concert @ SIAL


SEAP 2011: Meadowcroft

5 new works by Australia’s next generation of composers


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.


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)

Performance 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.

SEAP 2012: Inuksuit

 For 9-99 percussionists.

Inuksuit Small & Cropped

Inuksuit for 9-99 percussionists is a 21st Century American masterwork for percussion. This 80-minute masterwork was described by New York author and music critic Alex Ross as “…a sonic and scenic glory almost beyond description”. Elements of Inuit culture and Arctic spaces shape the rhythmic layers of the piece, creating a slowly shifting play of sound and space.


Members of the MSO
Eighth Blackbird (USA)
Speak Percussion & Speak Emerging Artsists
Kroumata (Sweden)

Past Performances


Melbourne Metropolis New Music Festival. University of Melbourne, 4:30pm Saturday 28 April 2012. Presented by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Recital Centre

SEAP 2012: Automation

A large-scale project exploring automated percussion.

Radiobots copy

Intimate performance installations and a collaborative community performance are presented free followed by the performance of a new massed automated percussion work by Artistic Director Eugene Ughetti. Robotic bass drums, prepared turntables and radio-controlled robotic-tappers will take the stage in this rare juxtaposition of diverse automated percussion languages


Director: Eugene Ughetti

Automated Percussion Artists: Ernie Althoff, Robbie Avenaim, Matt Gardiner, Adam Simmons and Graeme Leak

Speak Percussionists: Eugene Ughetti, Matthias Schack-Arnott and Matt Horsley

Emerging Artists: Jonathan Griffiths, Yvonne Lam, Rebecca Lloyd-Jones, Kaylie Melville, Anna Ng, Zela Papageorgiou and Hugh Tidy.

Past performances


Melbourne Melbourne Fringe Festival. The Substation, Saturday 29 September 2012. Presented by Speak Percussion and the Substation



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