Australian Art Orchestra Presents Six New Australian Commissions In Three Countries
As it enters an inspiring and invigorating period, Australia's pre-eminent contemporary music ensemble, the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO), will premiere six new commissions this November in Australia, England and Poland.
AAO Artistic Director, Peter Knight, explains that the AAO has incredible momentum at present, "2018 has marked one of the most vibrant and successful periods in our 25-year history - it includes collaborations with artists from all over the world and invitations to play at two of the most significant contemporary jazz festivals in the world: London Jazz Festival and Jazztopad Festival in Poland."
At the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, the AAO will present the world premiere of Sometimes Home Can Grow Stranger than Space that consists of three original compositions by Peter Knight, Tilman Robinson and Andrea Keller with a stunning 9-piece ensemble featuring some of the most celebrated musicians in Australia.
Inspired by the Centenary of Armistice Day, Sometimes Home Can Grow Stranger than Space creates an intimate and moving musical expression that acknowledges the stories of returned service people as they integrate back into their communities back in Australia.
Sometimes Home Can Grow Stranger than Space responds to the personal reflections and circumstances away from the thrust of the battlefield as documented by celebrated researcher and author, Professor Bruce Scates and co-authors Laura James and Rebecca Wheatley, in their moving volume, World War One: A history in 100 stories.
On the Centenary of Armistice Day on 11 November commencing at 6.04am until 10.59am (prior to the moment of silence) at MPavilion, the AAO will also present Aftermath, a durational sonic meditation and sound performance installation co-curated by the newly appointed AAO Associate Artist Aviva Endean and Peter Knight in collaboration with Tilman Robinson.
Creating an alternative space for the contemplation of war to reflect about grief, loss and the ongoing effects of trauma caused by war, violence and conflict, Aftermath will use the text from World War One: A history in 100 stories abstracted through an orchestra of 'remembering machines' that include tape players, old turntables, Revox reel-to-reel and live music performance.
Endean explains that Aftermath will stimulate the audience to contemplate the peace and the nature of peace, "This is an inspiring opportunity to explore new ways of thinking about the effects of war and being together with our shared histories through music."
The AAO will also tour Europe - stopping first at the London Jazz Festival to present Sometimes Home Can Grow Stranger than Space as part of an exquisite festival program that will also feature other signature artists like Bobby McFerrin, Bill Frisell and Dave Douglas.
The European tour will continue to Poland with the premiere of two new AAO works, The Plains by Peter Knight and Hurry Slowly 2 by Andrea Keller, featured as headline acts at the Jazztopad Festival in Wroclaw, alongside jazz giants Brad Mehldau and Chick Corea.
Inspired by iconic Australian author Gerald Murnane's vision of the interior of Australia, Knight's The Plains creates a series of musical mirages that form on an endless sonic horizon reflecting and reimagining the wide-open spaces of the Australian landscape.
Keller's Hurry Slowly 2 exists at the meeting point between acoustic and electronic approaches - it draws together influences from jazz, contemporary classical and minimalism to create a sound that is at once evocative, sensual and challenging.
While in Europe, Knight and Endean will also present a variety of works and facilitate workshops at AAO sister organisations, including the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra in Norway, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra in Scotland as part of the GIOfest improvisation festival and Club Inégales in London.