Tag Archives: Andrea Keeble


Collider @ La Mama Musica, 205 Faraday St, Carlton, Monday, June 20, at 7.30pm
Shared Obsessions

Kynan Robinson trombone, Adam Simmons tenor sax, Andrea Keeble violin, Jason Bunn viola, Ronny Ferella drums, Anita Hustas double bass



Ausjazz blog’s take on Collider: “This was really visceral music and its effect was felt physically. The combination of instruments provided a timbre-laden treat that would gladden the heart of a Tasmanian conservationist or an Orbost logger, or both.”

Collider’s take on Collider: “A truly eclectic Melbourne ensemble, part jazz group, part string ensemble and part wind band.  Collectively the members of Collider occupy almost all facets of the Melbourne music scene, from the MSO, to the Make It Up Club.”

This program will showcase new material composed by four Collider members — Ronny Ferella, Anita Hustas, Andrea Keeble and Jason Bunn. Five new works will be premiered in “Shared Obsessions”:

Valiant Obsession (Jason Bunn): Inspired by a track from the Punch Brothers,
where a seemingly random violin tone was woven into a crackin tune (“Me and
Us”, from “Antifogmatic”, 2010). Each instrument is given a short tone
row, first set over a John Adams-esque driving accompaniment, then expanded
to allow each player to explore the improvisational possibilities of their
tone row, both individually and in combination.

Peteliske  (Anita Hustas): (pronounced peh-teh-lish-keh) means butterfly in
the Lithuanian language. This piece is inspired by the ancient Lithuanian
song form ‘Sutartine’ which is a polyphonic mantra like vocal chant.

Cloud Shaped Thought (Anita Hustas): based on the poem Cloud Shaped Thought by Lidjia Simkute.

Both Peteliske and Cloud Shaped Thought are performed from graphic scores
created especially for Collider.

Shrouded History (Ronny Ferella): A three-part work inspired by the drumming and singing of the Santeria religion (a religion found in Cuba that combines West African religious traditions with Catholicism)

Fly (Andrea Keeble): Inspired by musician/composer John Zorn and explores
eastern European folk influences.


GIG: Bennetts Lane, Sunday, February 27, 2011

Adam Simmons tenor saxophone, Kynan Robinson trombone, Ronny Ferella drums, Anita Hustas bass, Jason Bunn viola, Andrea Keeble violin

Jason Bunn on viola

Jason Bunn on viola

This was an unusual line-up, but not a surprise given the involvement of Simmons, Robinson and Ferella, who are always imaginative. It was formed in 2006 for a visit by San Francisco saxophonist and composer Phillip Greenlief, but he could not make it and neither did the charts for his suite, which was to draw on material from Ornette Coleman. So Simmons hurriedly put together a suite — untitled, but Adam suggests something like The Language in Beauty — inspired by Coleman, Greenlief and in part by the “what am I gonna do” panic that arose from wanting the gig to go ahead. Simmons asked Robinson to join and the band was born.

Kynan Robinson points the 'bone

Kynan Robinson points the 'bone

Collider has played infrequently since, at Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival and the Melbourne Women’s International Jazz Festival. Most compositions are by Simmons and Robinson.

Jason Bunn on viola

Jason Bunn on viola

The evening opened with a Simmons piece entitled Words from Clouds, followed by three Robinson compositions — A Night on a Rollercoaster Turns a Woman’s Hair White, Midori and Malt as Water — followed by the Keeble and Hustas composition New Black SuiteNew Black 1 & 2 and Homeland.

The second set at Bennetts included three pieces from the Language of Beauty suite — Raskolnikov’s Folly, What Were the Names of the Karamazov Brothers?, and  All You Needand then Simmons’s Seven.

The pen I use to record track names and random responses to the music ran out early, so I hope the above is reasonably accurate. It certainly wasn’t accurate when this was first posted, but after multiple revisions and much help from Adam Simmons I’m hoping it is almost correct.

Andrea Keeble on violin

Andrea Keeble on violin

This was a most enjoyable and fascinating performance, but I feel as though words are a poor substitute for being there.

Collider at work

Collider at work

Collider works. It is unusual to have a violin and viola mixing it with more traditional instruments of improvised music, but the compositions and the musicians gave the whole performance an inspired coherence.

Ronny Ferella at the drum kit

Ronny Ferella at the drum kit

There were some absolutely entrancing standout solos — Robinson digging deep into the gravel and realising mid-solo he was breaking Ferella’s earlier appeal for quieter playing, Ronny Ferella taking the space to take us on a sublime journey of intricacy and introspection, Anita Hustas opening the final piece of the night with great presence, and Simmons on fire in slow-burn fashion that etched tenor notes into the dark room.

The viola gives voice

The viola gives voice

Jason Bunn on viola and Andrea Keeble violin were responsive, excited and exciting, ever adept as they set up and ran with rapid escapades that were often answered by the horns.

This was really visceral music and its effect was felt physically. The combination of instruments provided a timbre-laden treat that would gladden the heart of a Tasmanian conservationist or an Orbost logger, or both.

Anita Hustas

Anita Hustas on bass

I loved the contributions of each instrument, though Hustas seemed to be a little lost at times from where I was sitting. I loved the percussive interludes and the way Ferella intervened with such sensitivity and minimalism. And I loved the drawn-out string notes as the sombre final piece, Seven, came to a close.

Now that Collider has made such an impact, let’s hope the band gets out more.




Gian Slater

Gian Slater and the Silo String Quartet

THE Melbourne Jazz Fringe opened at the Iwaki Auditorium hard on the heels of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and will overlap Stonnington Jazz by a day or two. It’s great to have all this live music, but perhaps it would be better if they were spaced a little apart on the calendar. It makes it hard for popular media to sustain interest when they are bombarded with all this jazz. Still, bring on the music.

Before this moving set, Gian Slater paid tribute to Will Poskitt — the pianist who worked with her on the soon-to-be released album Creatures at the Crossroads and who has since died. Slater said this was her chance to keep the music alive and also to honour her “very dear friend”.

She sang four songs from the album: Mrs Stalwart, Fall and Trust, Love and Hard Work (shared on the album by singer songwriter Lior) and Predators. Despite the control and clarity of Slater’s voice, my imperfect ears were unable at times to pick up the words, which I was sorry about, because they seemed to be worth pondering. It was Slater’s “first go” at writing for strings, but voice and strings seemed almost always to be perfectly complementary. Only when the voice was its most fragile was it overtaken as the strings blended, then moved gently away, leaving Slater to soar and dip — at times suddenly, with emotion.

Indeed, so seamless was the symbiosis between voice and strings that it seemed hard to see the Quartet members as other than the intended or original backing players — in other words, Slater’s writing worked, due to the sensitivity of the Silo players, Aaron Barnden (first violin), Andrea Keeble (second violin),
Ceridwen Davies (viola) and Caerwen Martin (cello).

Slater conveyed vulnerability and strength, coupled with lyrics that prompted reflection. In Love and Hard Work, she sang, “Love is a burden, it softens my shield … it could be a weapon against me.” In Predators her lyrics and vocal delivery captured the fears and susceptibility of children to harm.

The set was over all too soon.

Ren Walters — Surrounded by C

Carolyn Connors

Ren Walters won the APRA commission, but sat in the audience, having surrendered control to his musicians. They were: voice artist Carolyn Connors, percussionist Dur-e Dara, trombonists Adrian Sherriff, Shannon Barnett and James Wilkinson, bass clarinettists Adam Simmons, Brigid Burke and Karen Heath, and Ray Luckhurst on sound.

The setting was arranged so the audience, surrounded by speakers, sat around a ring of alternating trombones and clarinets, with Luckhurst off to one side and Dur-e Dara and Connors fairly central. The auditorium was darkened, but the players were still visible.

Walters concert

Expectations influence how we perceive performances, of course, but in this case — when Walters had guided the players, but left it up to them to go with the flow — one question was whether we would have a sound narrative or journey, or whether it would be sounds that seemed to be disparate or hardly related. Would it be a conversation, a dialogue, or a crowd who were not listening to each other? Would it evoke emotion or would we listen with distance, or analysis of what was happening and how it was occurring?

There is no answer that can hope to meet some ideal of group perception. That’s enough sitting on the fence. I’ll dive in with my reactions.

I found it hard to be completely lost in the sounds or entirely unconscious of how they were being created. But I found that, with eyes closed, I could at times indulge in a rich feast of sound, even to the extent of finding some of the offerings physically annoying — a bit like the fingernail on the blackboard (kids these days will not know what that is … a marker on a whiteboard is fairly inoffensive). The sounds — especially those from the percussion bench of Dur-e Dara — were so tangible that they seemed the epitome or paradigm of their type. So, metals sounded like metals, utterly metallic. Tin was tin in some intrinsic sense. Rasping and scraping was irritatingly rasp and scrape.


Connors’ vocals were amazing, incredible. Explosions of breath, guttural extrusions of air and then piercing whistles. Earlier there had been organic vocals, some form of life, then chattering — perhaps of animal, perhaps bird. There was a touch of scat, which unfortunately served only to bring me back to observer status, noting that this was a woman performing with her voice. But that was momentary. Connors was often arresting in her vocal power and versatility.

As a chance to hear unadulterated, pure (in some sense) sounds, the work succeeded for me. We don’t often get the chance to focus in this way and too often sounds are lost amid too many competitors. This was a chance to listen.

But I was not taken on a journey by Surrounded by C. I did not feel there was a lot of growth and development, yet it would be absolutely wrong to suggest any insensibility of the musicians involved. They were alive to possibilities. Perhaps they did not quite become caught up in a group dynamic that would have given the sounds more cohesion and taken them somewhere uncharted.

Others will have had different experiences. Ren Walters commented at the end that he wished they had gone on for longer. And there would have been no objection to that from most of those present, I expect.

Another commission concert worth the effort this performance undoubtedly took.

Dur-e Dara