ABC Radio New Waves podcast introduces five emerging Indigenous composers of diverse musical backgrounds, with new works performed by Ensemble Offspring.
(Listen to the podcast here).
The AMPLIFY: Indigenous Composer Initiative was the brainchild of indigenous composer and ANU School of Music lecturer Christopher Sainsbury. As Sainsbury puts it:
"A lot of Aboriginal musicians gravitate to other western art forms in music -pop music, rock, reggae - so why not classical as well? Non-Aboriginal composers are using Aboriginal stories or music or motifs or words or what have you, but there are Aboriginal people there waiting in the wings to step forward."
The project brought together the resources of the AMC, ANU School of Music, Eora College of TAFE, contemporary indigenous theatre company Moogahlin Performing Arts, and Sydney new-music specialists Ensemble Offspring. Five NSW-based composers were selected to participate in the inaugural program, working with mentors Chris Sainsbury and jazz composer-pianist Kevin Hunt, a long-time collaborator with indigenous artists.
The composers brought with them diverse histories and musical experience. Brenda Gifford is a Yuin woman from the south coast and a professional jazz saxophonist. Church cantor Elizabeth Sheppard hails from the Noongar-Yamatji people of Western Australia and has a musicology degree. Kamilaroi and Birpai man Troy Russell is a multi-instrumentalist, Eora College teacher and inner-Sydney local. Reggae musician Tim Gray is of Wiradjuri and Gumbainggir parentage and is currently writing a screenplay for a werewolf movie. Muruwari man Rhyan Clapham grew up in Wolllongong and is a drummer and rapper with a degree in jazz drumkit.
In this program, you'll hear the concert of their new works as premiered by Ensemble Offspring, with introductions from the composers, and from compare Lily Shearer of Moogahlin Arts, plus a rather special welcome to country from Aboriginal elder Uncle Greg Simms. You'll also hear Stephen Adams interviewing the composers about their musical paths, and talking to project founder Christopher Sainsbury about the background to the project.
For a more extended conversation with Sainsbury, stay tuned for a special extra New Waves program featuring his extended conversation with Stephen Adams about the history of Australian indigenous and western classical cultural interactions, as well as reflections on his own musical journey, and anecdotes from the AMPLIFY workshop process.
Brenda Gifford Gambambara 4'59
Elizabeth Sheppard Kooranginy* 11'31
Troy Russell Nucoorilma 4'21
Tim Gray LUPE! (5 scenes) 7'36
Troy Russell River life 2'26
Brenda Gifford Bardju* 3'14
Rhyan Clapham Pitara Yaan Muruwariki 7'08
Ensemble Offspring: Claire Edwardes (vibraphone/percussion), Lamorna Nightingale (flutes), Jason Noble (clarinets), Freya Schack-Arnott (cello). *Guest performer Rhyan Clapham (snare drum, clapping)
Concert recorded by sound engineer Christian Huff-Johnston and producer Stephen Adams.
You also heard excerpts from Christopher Sainsbury's Bushfire Concerto (played by Rachel Tolmie and the Central Coast Concertante Ensemble) and Country Sketches (played by guitarist Ken Murray).
(Taken from ABC Radio website)