Richard Haynes/Paul Hübner/Steve Menotti

Get ye to St Paul’s Hall in Huddersfield tonight to see/hear Richard Haynes (clarinets), Paul Hübner (trumpets) and Steve Menotti (trombones) play the shit out of some really bad-ass music. The composers and performers on this programme comprise some of my favourite musicians and human beings in the world. I wish I could be there. ‘Nuff said.

Clarinets: Richard Haynes
Trumpets: Paul Hübner
Trombones: Stephen Menotti


Michael Baldwin: what ¯lurks beneath¯ (WP) for clarinet, trumpet & trombone

Timothy McCormack: Here is a sequence of signs, each having a sound and a meaning for trombone solo

Eduardo Moguillansky: limites
for one trumpet player

Hang Su: Julischnee (WP)
for trumpet, bass clarinet & trombone

*** intermission ***

Chikako Morishita: Lizard (shadow & light) (WP) for clarinet, trumpet & trombone

Evan Johnson: Apostrophe II (pressing down on my sternum) for quarter-tone flugelhorn & alto trombone

Jeroen Speak: Epeisodos
for bass clarinet

Timothy McCormack: Disfix
for bass clarinet, piccolo trumpet & trombone



Awesome Melbourne-based trio Golden Fur are kicking off their European tour in Rotterdam on the 20th, before heading to Madrid, Lisbon, Porto, Amsterdam, Geneva, Berlin and Vienna. Full tour detiails are available on ther MySpace page.

If you can make it to any of these gigs, you must go. The experience of Golden Fur pulping your brain while brutalising you in the ear is a singular one.

“Terrain” – ELISION ensemble at King’s Place

ELISION’s second concert of 2010 takes place at King’s Place as part of their Out Hear series next Monday. Entitled Terrain, this programme features Ferneyhough’s remarkable work for solo violin + ensemble as a kind of centrepiece, tying in nicely with the release of ELISION’s long-awaited disc of Ferneyhough ensemble works on Viennese label KAIROS.

The concert also features Bryn Harrison’s Surface forms (repeating), heard first at last year’s hcmf, Transference – a new work by Mary Bellamy for solo cello, James Dillon’s Once upon a time and Liza Lim’s stunning Songs found in a dream (performed at hcmf by MusikFabrik).

A big highlight of this concert for me, though, is the première of Aaron Cassidy’s And the scream, Bacon’s scream, is the operation through which the entire body escapes through the mouth (or, Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion). Those familiar with the prior three Studies… (solos and a duo extracted from the larger ensemble piece) will be aware that this is some of the most provocative music around at the moment and I, for one, can’t wait to hear the whole ensemble piece.

Here, irritatingly in two parts, is Being itself a catastrophe, the diagram must not create a catastrophe (or, Third Study for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion)

Get some filament in your childhood: a heads up

This Thursday, 11 March, Golden Fur presents the first of three concerts as part of their 2010 subscription series at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Entitled Filament, the concert features Morton Feldman’s stunning For Frank O’Hara, Liza Lim’s Veil, Robert Ashley’s Waiting room, and première performances of works by Cat Hope and myself. Full details, along with downloadable programme notes, can be found here.

That's right, I've finally worked out how to upload images!

The day before that, the Freshwater Trio with special guest violist Caroline Henbest performs a program featuring Schumann’s Piano Quartet in Eb, Op. 47, and the Fauré Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 15. These works are paired with arrangements of Chopin and Schumann by regular collaborator Adam Starr. Go for the Schumannian introspection, stay for the Starrian whackiness. More infos here.

Coming up in Melbourne

Tonight is Lucky Number – a performance of music by little-known Australian experimental composer Syd Clayton.

Tomorrow is ModArt09 – new works for vocal ensemble performed by The Song Company directed by Roland Peelman.

Tuesday 28 July is ELISION in Session – including modern classics by Richard Barrett, Liza Lim, Michael Finnissy and Roger Redgate, and some very recent and new works by Richard Barrett, Jeroen Speak, Ben Marks, Evan Johnson and Robert Dahm.

MIAF ’09. Lame-town.

The Melbourne International Arts Festival has launched their 2009 program. There are a few things I’ll be interested to see (I’m very interested, for instance, in Dusapin’s Medea, and some of the Warhol film stuff), but on the whole this program looks utterly yawn-inducing. A pervading issue which is true particularly in the case of its musical items (but admittedly less so for Dance, particularly) is that there’s very little here that couldn’t be accessed at other times of the year. The big musical headline seems to be the London Philharmonic Orchestra playing the lamest programs you’ve ever seen.

Wasn’t there a time (like, a few years ago) when Festivals were the last refuge of adventurous programming? Didn’t it used to be possible to present exciting works and exciting performers? Given the growing (both in terms of size and vibrancy) of this city’s music scene, from underground noise through overground early music to institutionalised classics, Melbourne Festival’s failure to keep pace is, frankly, embarrassing.

One other thing that I found outrageous was this. Not for the program itself (which, containing Julian Yu’s arrangement of Pictures at an exhibition and a new work by Brenton Broadstock entitled Tyranny of distance, should actually be of some interest), but because it’s patently absurd to describe two pieces by two composers (one of which is an orchestration) as ‘showcasing the scope of contemporary orchestral music in Australia’. The scope of contemporary orchestral music in this country is pretty extraordinary, really, despite the less-than-full-voiced support of the Symphony Australia network, with important new works in the medium in the last couple of years from composers as diverse as Brett Dean, Anthony Pateras, Elias Constantopedos and Stuart Greenbaum (to name but a handful). To suggest that any two works can adequately reflect that scope is laughable.

Anyway, I’ll be going to Medea, and will try to make it to the Seven last words from the cross series of concerts.

EDIT: for a contrasting view, read Allison Croggon’s far more positive (balanced?) view on TheatreNotes.

Concerts this weekend

Unfortunately I’ll be unlikely to be able to make either of these concerts, due to being chained to my drawing board problematising musical materials for ELISION, but:

This weekend features two extraordinary concerts at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

The first is titled Stylus Phantasticus, presented by the phenomenal Latitude 37. Consisting of Australian violinist Julia Fredersdorff and gambist Laura Vaughan, along with Kiwi harpsichordist Donald Nicholson, this group has been around the traps for a little over year, now, and is absolutely one of the best things going in terms of this repertoire in this hemisphere. The program on Friday night consist of German Baroque works, featuring the works of Dietrich Buxtehude set against the works of his approximate contemporaries, such as Biber, Erlebach, Richmann and Decker.

Full details available at the MRC website.

The second program of interest is, fortunately, being present twice. First on Saturday night, and second on Sunday afternoon. The program is another being presented by the formiddable Speak Percussion, this time presenting a concert solely consisting of the works of composer Anthony Pateras. Pateras is by far one of the most interesting compositional voices on Melbourne’s musical landscape, and the opportunity to hear his notated works arises all-too-infrequently.

Full details available at the MRC website.

Speak Percussion in Melbourne this week

This week is a veritable feast of Speak Percussion goodness at the Melbourne Recital Centre Salon.

Tonight, there is the second performance of Graphic Music, featuring three works by sound-and-graphic artist Catherine Schieve. This will be performed by Speak regulars Eugene Ughetti and Matthias Schack-Arnott, along with Leah Scholes, Warren Burt and Catherine herself.

Further details to be had here:,1,1,1&EventID=942

The second event, this Saturday 6 June, is American Masters. This program, which sees the Speak core of Ughetti, Schack-Arnott and Peter Neville augmented by guests Greg Sully, Tim Phillips and Gary France, features a couple of twentieth century American classics, such as Steve Reich’s Music for pieces of wood and Elliott Carter’s Tintinnabulation, alongside the work of composers heard all-too-rarely in this country, such as Alvin Lucier and James Tenney:

John Cage Quartet tom-toms
James Tenney –  Pika-don (Australian Premiere) with electronics
Elliott Carter –  Tintinnabulation
Alvin Lucier –  Music for Snare Drum, Pure Wave Oscillator and One or More Reflective Surfaces (Australian Premiere)
Steve Reich –  Music for Pieces of Wood
Johanna Beyer –  March for 30 Percussion Instruments

Full details here:,1,1,1&EventID=945