WANGARATTA 2009 — AUSTRALIAN ART ORCHESTRA: FOLK

Scott Tinkler and Philip Slater trumpets, Simon Barker and Ken Edie drums, Carl Dewhurst and Stephen Magnusson guitars, Marc Hannaford piano

Scott Tinkler wets his whistle
Scott Tinkler wets his whistle

This extended work — composed and improvised — was intended to represent the music of the folk in Tinkler’s life. Folk music it was not. I had to close my eyes to avoid being distracted by the man (Tinkler) with his trumpet in a bucket, but that party trick I had seen a few times, so that was not hard. Slater’s breathy, muted contribution was joined effectively by Hannaford. Dewhurst was growlingly aggressive. And that was just the beginning.

Would it succeed? Would the whole be more than the sum of its assorted parts? Yes, it gradually grew an identity. Hannaford helped the cohesion, along with Dewhurst’s low thunder. I found it hard to pick up Magnusson’s input. Slater’s trumpet spiked and soared resplendently, using simple sequences of notes. Then came interplay between the horns before Dewhurst changed to a red guitar which he slapped and tapped with a drum stick. The trumpets went hammer and tongs. My second festival highlight came with a muscular solo from Tinkler, who was doing some circular breathing to keep the air flowing, and Slater’s efforts with a mute to extrude pure gravel. Loved it!

This was the sort of music that you adjust to over time, so that what might seem outlandish at first then becomes a living, breathing thing — not, perhaps, of beauty, but some sort of primal expression that is mesmerising and profoundly satisfying.

Simon Barker
Simon Barker gives some stick

Dewhurst and Edie
Carl Dewhurst and Ken Edie play Folk

Phil Slater
Phil Slater makes a mute point

Scott Tinkler takes note
Scott Tinkler takes note

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One response to “WANGARATTA 2009 — AUSTRALIAN ART ORCHESTRA: FOLK

  1. grevillestbookstore

    “Folk” was utterly the highlight of my festival. Awesome work Scott!

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