25 October 2012
ExhAust adds Australian voices to the NY mix
New York is a noisy town. It's a musical melange of cacophonic horns, relentless construction and demolition, collaged conversation, and frenetic animation. In a place where a moment of spontaneous silence is often compared to a John Cage performance, it can be hard to have your voice heard.
In 2011, composer Tim Hansen and pianist Lisa Moore addressed this problem by adding a new element to the New York cultural sound scape - ExhAust. ExhAust is a new music collective that seeks to promote the works of emerging, developing, and established Australian composers, by organising performances of their music in New York City. This musical cooperative of mostly Australian ex-pat performers and composers seeks to cut through the din of the big apple, and foster a cultural exchange of musical ideas.
The inaugural ExhAust concert took place on October 18, 2011, and featured compositions by seven Australian composers, five of whom were present at the hip Galapagos Art Space, in DUMBO, Brooklyn. To celebrate its second year on the circuit, ExhAust is presenting two new concerts: one with an edgy new music focus, and the other featuring the sweet strains of Australian jazz.
The first concert on 10 November at Spectrum New Music's cozy loft in the Lower East Side includes seven works, with two world premieres. Julian Day, Lisa Dowling, Tim Hansen, Cyrus Meurant, Lachlan Skipworth, Chris Williams, and myself will represent the motley band of composers that still call Australia home. Performers Shaun Barlow (flute), Ashley Smith (clarinet), Lisa Dowling (bass), Isabelle O'Connell (piano), Richard Vaudrey (cello) and Will Martina (cello) will unite to form an eclectic and energetic sextet.
In March 2013, trumpet and flugelhorn player Nadje Noordhuis will curate an evening that Tim Hansen describes as 'smooth, smooth jazz from down under'. Joining Nadje will be performers Shannon Barnett, Barney McAll, Sam Anning and Raj Jayaweera.
Due to the efforts and entrepreneurial spirit of these young musicians, a new generation of Australian artists can have their distinct inner voices join the throbbing cultural life of New York. And for that we are grateful.
ExhAust, 10 November at 8pm, Spectrum, 121 Ludlow St, New
Works by Day, Dowling, Hansen, Meurant, Skipworth, Williams, Mellos
© Australian Music Centre (2012) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
Aristea Mellos is an Australian composer who lives and works in New York City. She holds composition degrees from the Eastman School of Music (Master of Music, 2012) and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (MBus, Honours Class I, 1010).
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