Arts Centre Melbourne And Australian Art Orchestra Present MEETING POINTS SERIES 2019-2020
Returning for its third season is the Meeting Points Series, a contemporary concert series for the curious running from 22 September 2019 - 31 May 2020 in The Pavilion at Arts Centre Melbourne.
This creative collaboration between Arts Centre Melbourne and the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) is an intimate collection of concerts bringing together musical styles from across the globe in unexpected collaborations curated by Artistic Director of AAO Peter Knight.
"The Meeting Points Series is really at the core of the AAO's artistic mission. This is a concert series that truly reflects the energy and diversity of 21st century Australia, and explores the meeting points between disciplines and cultures," says Knight.
The extraordinarily strong line-up, featuring a range of acclaimed International Artists of non-Western backgrounds, offers audiences the chance to witness never-before-seen works and hear the beauty of cross-cultural compositions.
"Each of these artists has a strong track record of creating music that brings together different musical traditions, as well as artists of different cultural backgrounds," continues Knight.
Kicking the series off next month on Sunday 22 September is Leaf and Shadow featuring traditional Korean bamboo flutist (taegŭm), Hyelim Kim. Renowned for breathing new life into her masterpieces, the acclaimed taegŭm virtuoso will perform both traditional compositions as well as her own contemporary works alongside Australian drummer Simon Barker. Together they will explore the fusion of traditional Korean sounds, percussive rhythms and experimental jazz nuances in this Meeting Points Series exclusive. Joined by leading contemporary ensemble AAO, Leaf and Shadow reflects the vibrancy of borderless contemporary music and daring improvisations.
In a rapturous celebration of ancient Sri Lankan culture, audiences will dive into an ecstatic celebration of music and ritualistic dance with Baliphonics in Of Deities and Demons on Sunday 8 December. In a spectacle of music, light and dance - led by Susantha Rupathilaka and Prasanna Rupathilka featuring drummer Sumudi Suraweera - this performance will draw upon an astrological healing practice known as Bali Ritual, in which deities are invoked and demons exorcised. These age-old rituals will be brought to life together with the AAO thrilling audiences through an intense and visceral experience.
Reuniting for their third collaboration in the series, and as part of Asia TOPA, on Sunday 23 February is Hand to Earth, featuring one of Korea's most sought after jazz vocalists Sunny Kim, Yolngu song-man from North East Arnhem Land Daniel Wilfred and multidisciplinary musician Peter Knight. Together they sing of the stars, of fire, and of the cooling rain against Knight's floating trumpet notes and electronic crackles. Their effortless collaboration spans continents and cultures, expressing a deeply human commonality. Following the overwhelming success of The Hearkening (2017) and Hand to Earth (2018), this trio represents contemporary Australia at its best: sophisticated, inclusive, diverse, and forward looking.
In an exclusive headlining, one-off concert as part of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, master Iraqi-American jazz composer and trumpeter, Amir ElSaffar will stun audiences on Sunday 31 May with his imaginative music combining for the first time with the innovative sounds of the AAO. ElSaffar is a purveyor of the centuries-old Iraqi Maqam tradition and one of the quickest rising stars in the American jazz scene. His ground-breaking compositions reflect a deep understanding of the microtones and ornaments signature to Arabic music, having trained in both European classical music and American jazz. Incredibly, ElSaffar will create a new work for this performance with the AAO.
Over the next nine months, audiences are asked to join at the meeting point of music, culture and human connection.
Meeting Points Series is supported by City of Melbourne and Australia Council for the Arts, with additional support by Ian Potter Foundation and Portland House Foundation.