World Premiere Of THE KITES OF TIANJIN Will Debut at Fortyfivedownstairs

World Premiere Of THE KITES OF TIANJIN Will Debut at FortyfivedownstairsAcclaimed Melbourne composer, Adam Simmons, will perform the world premiere of his latest new musical work, The Kites of Tianjin, at fortyfivedownstairs from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 July.

Inspired by Simmons' experiences in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin, famous for its Wei Kites, The Kites of Tianjin will feature Wang Zheng-Ting on Sheng (Chinese mouth organ) as featured soloist with the Adam Simmons Creative Music Ensemble.

The Kites of Tianjin will be the fifth and final concert in Simmons' acclaimed The Usefulness of Art series. Comprising five unique and original concerts over 2017-18, The Usefulness of Art originated from a quote by Auguste Rodin, and is the driving force behind Simmons' formidable musical career.

Since meeting in 2007, Simmons and Ting have collaborated on a number of major concerts as a duo and with Simmons's trio, Origami. The two were intrigued by the Wei Kites during a visit to Tianjin in 2017, where they attended a workshop run by Wei Guoqiu, a fourth-generation member of the famous kite-making family.

"There's something irresistible about making your own kite... and about finding the way to ride the wind. It's similar to playing with nature in other ways, such as creating sand tunnels at the beach or floating sticks down the river or stoking the hot coals to produce flames," says Simmons.

"A kite is brought to life by the wind-and we in turn rely on breathing to give us life. This invisible force around us has such potential for creation and sustenance. My personal revelation a few years back is that really what I have been learning via my musical instruments is fundamentally about how to breathe-and that to breathe is to live. In this way, the kite in the wind becomes a metaphor for living."

The Kites of Tianjin-which musically and visually explores breath and the fundamental nature of being human-is the culmination of the preceding Usefulness of Art concerts. Together, the concerts have used Simmons' original art music to ponder such weighty concepts as the creation of form, art through music, qualities that art engenders in humanity, reasons to create art, how art connects communities and helps develop understanding of one's place in the world, exploring personal identity, and connecting to place.

The first four concerts have elicited rapturous praise from critics and audiences alike, including The Age's Jessica Nicholas: "... another marvellously assured step in Simmons' own journey as musician and composer, and a potent demonstration of the usefulness - no, the necessity - of art as an expression of our collective humanity," and "(The Calling was) arresting both musically and visually, reflecting the sense of empathy and shared experience that gives this work such a strong emotional resonance."

Two 5-star reviews by Raphael Solarsh of Arts Hub effused: "... (a) sonic freefall into a raw and emotive tour de force... another masterpiece by Simmons and his collaborators," and "Simmons' music is rich and evocative with the cinematic string arrangement given a grittier and more tactile edge by saxophony that spanned subtle breath all the way to unrestrained wail."

This concert is supported by the City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program.

Ticket prices: Full $35, concession $30, Early Bird discount $30, children (under 12) free

Ticketing URL: https://www.fortyfivedownstairs.com/wp2016/event/the-kites-of-tianjin/
Phone: 03 9662 9966

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