Tag Archives: Adrian Sherriff

HEAR HEAR! (OR DID WE?)

Diomira

Peter Knight (composer) and Georgie Darvidis (voice) in Diomira.     Image supplied

PREVIEW

Diomira, The Australian Art Orchestra, The Substation, Newport
Saturday, October 7 at 8pm. 1 hr, no interval

Tickets $49 ($39 concession)

If you are up for a challenge, members of the Australian Art Orchestra are ready to play with our perceptions of what we hear and what we imagine we have heard at The Substation tonight.

Sparked off by one of the imaginary lands in Italo Calvino‘s novella Invisible Cities, the AAO’s Diomira is described as “an expedition forging a path between the observable and the unreal”.

AAO artistic director Peter Knight composed the first 15-minute movement of Diomira for the orchestra to premiere as part of the opening concert of the 2016 Metropolis New Music Festival in Melbourne. It won that year’s Albert H. Maggs Composition Award, providing funding for the addition of subsequent movements to build a full-length concert work.

The premiere performance of the concert-length version will be presented as part of Melbourne Festival along with a video created by artist, Scott Morrison.

Drawing inspiration from Diomira, one of the imaginary cities described in Italo Calvino’s novella, Invisible Cities, Knight’s work “sets up a post-minimal logic that refracts and disintegrates as we listen”.

The instrumentation of the chamber jazz orchestra is expanded with turntables, a reel-to-reel tape machine (which replaces the drum kit) and live laptop signal processing. The sounds of acoustic instruments and voices are interwoven with field recordings cut onto vinyl.

In this performance, it is said, “Time folds into itself in a very Calvino-esque manner, leaving us with the trace residue of moments half remembered.”

Diomira is also a finalist for the APRA AMC Art Music Awards Instrumental Work of the Year’.

Diomira features:

Peter Knight – composer, trumpet/electronics, Revox B77 reel-to-reel
Georgie Darvidis – voice
Dan Sheehan – Fender Rhodes keyboard
Stephen Magnusson – guitar
Lizzy Welsh – violin
Tristram Williams, trumpet
Martin Ng – turntables
Matthias Schack-Arnott – percussion
Tony Hicks – clarinet/saxophone
Adrian Sherriff – bass trombone/electronics
Samuel Pankhurst – contra bass
Jem Savage – system design, electronics, audio engineering
Tamara Saulwick – dramaturgy
Paul Lim – lighting design

Produced by Tam Nguyen and Insite Arts

Tickets $49 ($39 concession)

(Material in this post drawn by Roger Mitchell from material supplied by the AAO.)

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MUSICIANS CELEBRATE DAVID TOLLEY

Farewell David Tolley

Celebrating the contribution of David Tolley

LAST CALL:

PLAYING WITH DAVID TOLLEY, Monday 2 June 2014 at Carlton Courthouse, 345 Drummond St., Carlton
Tickets: $15 full | $10 concession | Box office 7 PM | Performance 7:30 PM.

This could easily slip under the radar given all the MIJF music on in Melbourne at the moment, but it is a significant event to honour the legacy of bassist David Tolley.

A concert celebrating some of the many influences that the late David Tolley — bassist-musician-artist-teacher-sculptor-individual — has had on particular artists and musicians, many of whom will be performing.

These will include Anita Hustas, Phil Bywater, Belinda Woods, Adam Simmons, Adrian Sherriff, David Brown, James Clayden, Tom Fryer, Louise Skacej, Tony Hicks, Ren Walters.

Thanks to Ren Walters for passing on the details.

Roger Mitchell

David Tolley

David Tolley

David Tolley

David Tolley

David Tolley

David Tolley

LOOPS / KAFKA PONY

Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival / Melbourne Jazz Cooperative double bill, Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tamara Murphy

Bassist and MJFF committee member Tamara Murphy introduces the gig.

LOOPS

Jonathan Dimond bass, percussion; Mastaneh Nazarian guitar; Adrian Sherriff Zendrum percussion controller

Loops

Loops

I was fascinated by what emerged from Jonathan Dimond‘s trio Loops, which is a Melbourne incarnation of the Brisbane ensemble of that name, which was formed in 1995 and included Ken Edie (drums), John Parker (drums), Jamie Clark (guitar) and John Rodgers (violin) as core members. Dimond is now senior lecturer and head of the music degree at Northern Metropolitan Institute of TAFE (NMIT) in Fairfield.

But I also felt ignorant and uninformed about what I was hearing. Granted, that says something about me, but on reflection I believe there could be some benefit from some simple and brief explanations of the musical forms an audience is about to hear. Dimond is highly qualified in classical trombone and contemporary improvisation, and has recently spent four years overseas. Of particular relevance to this performance, he has also undergone “vigorous training” in North Indian classical music in Pune, India.

Dimond on electric bass

Dimond on electric bass

Dimond’s website states that Loops compositions “act as vehicles for improvisation, framed by formal structures which take inspiration from Indian classical music (both Hindusthani and Carnatic), Western classical music, jazz and other world musics”. I would like to have hear him expand a little on that for the uninitiated.

Adrian Sherriff on Zendrum percussion controller

Adrian Sherriff on Zendrum percussion controller

The other fascinating part of Loops’s performance was Adrian Sherriff’s amazing facility on the Zendrum percussion controller, which looks a little like something from the set of Dr Who. As I understand it, he had it linked to drum kit and tabla sounds on his laptop, with the large “buttons” configured so that he could produce an array of sounds which belied the squat triangular instrument.

Loops opened with American sitarist Paul Livingstone’s Blessing, which he says is based on the raga from South India, Hamsadwani. Livingstone’s website  says that the melody is played on a nine-string fretless guitar and bansuri (Indian flute) accompanied by a traditional South Indian rhythm section of mridangam (barrel drum), ghatum (clay pot), and moorsing (jews harp). The piece uses several Indian calculative rhythmic cadences called tehai and koravai, which are played in unison by the whole ensemble.

Adrian Sherriff was most impressive on the Zendrum in this piece.

Nazarian and Dimond in Loops

Nazarian and Dimond in Loops

Next, Loops played Blues Jog (Dimond) based on a raga and incorporating a “bluesy” approach, followed by Koraippu (Dimond), a fully composed piece beginning with a South Indian drum solo and adding a night-time raga from North India. This segued via a Zendrum solo into another Dimond original, GST. It was not especially taxing.

I think “jog” may be another term for raga, but that may be way off the mark.

Mastaneh Nazarian

Mastaneh Nazarian

The final Dimond piece, Ek Bisleri was in a scale with no third (he told us) and “in eleven”. The name is essentially “one mineral water”, which Dimond apparently believed he needed to have in India to avoid the local water.

I would like to hear this music again, but with some more understanding of what’s going on. The MJFF is meant to challenge us, and I like that, but I wanted to know more.

KAFKA PONY

Mastaneh Nazarian guitar; Jonathan Dimond bass, percussion; Sam Leskovec drums

Kafka Pony

Kafka Pony

Nazarian’s Kafka Pony has, like Loops, had earlier incarnations — in Boston and Brisbane. Given Dimond’s time in Boston, perhaps they met there. With Sam Leskovec at the real drum kit, Kafka Pony opened with a Cecil McBee piece “with the same tempo as ‘Round Midnight“. But not before Nazarian told us that “political correctness is the thing for the next decade” and urged patrons to defy this by taking up smoking. Her sense of humour and personality were evident in this set, which proceeded with Waltz Schmaltz (there was a mention of goose fat here) and then “an arrangement of a controversial piece written in the late ’50s” which the audience members were urged to yell out if they could identify it.

I had to leave before the set ended, so cannot do it justice. After the sense of difference I had encountered from Loops, I think Kafka Pony seemed not as exotic and not so exciting. But I concede that the need to depart early and prepare for work next day was stopping me from being in the moment, which is not a good way to appreciate music, especially if it is subtle.

Nazarian and (out of shot) Dimond

Nazarian and (out of shot) Dimond