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24 April 2012

From opera to noise: Aurora Festival 2012

David Young's <em>Minotaur The Island</em> reimagines Monteverdi's lost opera <em>L'Arianna</em>. Image: David Young's Minotaur The Island reimagines Monteverdi's lost opera L'Arianna.  
© Chamber Made Opera

The Aurora Festival of Living Music will take over Sydney's western suburbs over nine days next month (4-13 May). The festival program includes a rich variety of Australian works, including many premieres. The biennial Aurora festival, established by Matthew Hindson in 2006, will be organised now for the fourth time.

The festival opens with a sonic art performance by Super Critical Mass, featuring 60 local musicians from western Sydney's Blacktown area, directed by Julian Day and Luke Jaaniste (4 May, 7pm). Chamber Made Opera returns to Sydney for the first time since 2004 with its production of David Young's Minotaur The Island - a work that reimagines Monteverdi's lost baroque opera L'Arianna (9-11 May, 7:30pm). Festival's highlights also include guitarist Zane Banks's performance of Georges Lentz's 50-minute solo work for guitar, Ingwe (12 May, 5pm).

Synergy Percussion will introduce audiences to the diversity of modern percussion with a performance of four new works by emerging Australian composers Amanda Cole, Marcus Whale, Alex Pozniak and James Rushford (5 May, 7pm). Chronology Arts will present a free outdoor event at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, featuring contemporary music for amplified guitar quartet, including works by Phillip Houghton, Pozniak and Day. Performers in this concert include Zane Banks, Matt McGuigan, Jy-Perry Banks and Mat Kurukchi (10 May 5:30pm).

Harpist Marshall McGuire will perform 21st century harp repertoire in concert at St Finbars Catholic Church in Glenbrook, Blue Mountains. McGuire's program includes Australian works by Andrew Ford, Andrián Pertout, Ross Edwards and Meghan Stevens (6 May, 2pm).

Greg Schiemer's Pocket Gamelan will be played by a group of non-trained musicians, using phones programmed with music software (11 May, 4:30pm). Young Australian recorder player Alicia Crossley will conduct school workshops culminating in a performance showcasing the instrument and involving young Penrith and Blue Mountains musicians (6 May, 3pm, music by Mark Oliveiro and Margery Smith).

Invisible Forces double bill brings together contemporary dance choreographers and composers. In Quest, composer Alex Pozniak and choreographer Martin Del Amo collaborate to explore a young girl's blind-discovery of sound and movement. Pozniak's work will be followed by sound artist and composer Daniel Blinkhorn with a performance featuring work from a recent field trip to Antarctica (12 May, 7:30pm).

There will be two interactive industry forums: one focusing on emerging composers, hosted by Australian Music Centre's John Davis (5 May, 5:30pm), and the other on sustainable new music business models, hosted by the festival's artistic director Andrew Batt-Rawden (12 May, 3pm). The duo performance of Oren Ambarchi and the Japanese noise artist Merzbow will bring the festival program to a close on Sunday 13 May (Ambarchi's solo concert on 10 May at 7pm).

AMC resources

AMC's Australian Music Calendar May 2012

Further links

Aurora Festival - http://www.auroranewmusic.com.au
Super Critical Mass - http://supercriticalmass.com/
Chamber Made Opera - http://www.chambermadeopera.com/
Zane Banks - http://www.zanebanks.com/
Synergy Percussion - http://www.synergypercussion.com/
Alicia Crossley - http://www.aliciacrossley.com.au/
Chronology Arts - http://www.chronologyarts.net/
Marshall McGuire - http://www.marshallmcguire.com/

The Australian Music Centre connects people around the world to Australian composers and sound artists. By facilitating the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these creative artists, it aims to increase their profile and the sustainability of their art form. Established in 1974, the AMC is now the leading provider of information, resources, materials and products relating to Australian new music.


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