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26 June 2012

New album from Ros Bandt and Leah Barclay

New album from Ros Bandt and Leah Barclay

Ros Bandt and Leah Barclay have released a new CD of collaborative electroacoustic and radiophonic work, Blue gold, launched on 31 May by the Australian Music Centre's CEO, John Davis.

The title work Blue gold, an electroacoustic work for cello and clarinets, sculptures, digital colour field and moving imagery, investigates the delicate balance between wet and dry, symbolised in the colours of the title. The CD also features Rivers Talk, a new collaborative radiophonic work on Australian river ecology.

In launching the album, John Davis referred to the complexity of the radiophonic/electroacoustic genre. 'In AMC's "cartographical" work, mapping a complex and ever-changing music and sound landscape is a challenge. Ros Bandt is a major landmark in that landscape, whose exploratory work over time is significant, and firmly places her as a point of reference', he said.

Ros Bandt is an internationally acclaimed sound artist, composer, researcher and scholar. Since 1977 she has pioneered interactive sound installations, sound sculptures, and created sound playgrounds, spatial music systems, and some 40 sound installations worldwide. She has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes and fellowships and her work has been published and recorded bother locally and internationally. Adelaide-born Leah Barclay works at the intersection of art, science, technology and the environment, which has led her to complete projects on the floor of the Australian ocean, desolate lava caves in New Zealand, the Amazon jungle and the evocative backwaters of South India.

Speaking about the collaboration between these two artists, Davis stated:

'Ros's work as a collaborator is a particular feature of her as an artist, featuring a long list of collaborations with many artists over many years, reflective of her generosity in this regard. Leah, as an emerging artist, has already amassed an impressive list of collaborations across a diverse range of creative output, and has proved to be adept at making links (creative and other), embracing documentation and discourse as an essential part of her role as an artist. With this album, we see the transition from Ros as subject (Leah's honours thesis), to Ros as mentor, to Ros as collaborator - an evolution demonstrating generosity and a shared enthusiasm to explore.'

Blue gold was launched in a concert featuring soundscapes, field recordings and radiophonic works by artists Hollis Taylor, Garth Paine and Sophea Lerner, as well as Bandt and Barclay, working under the banner of 'Ear to the Earth', a program of the Electronic Music Foundation to heighten environmental awareness. Included with prerecorded works, the program also featured Bandt's Tragoudia 1 and 2, with Bandt performing habiouli (shepherd's flute) and tarhu, with a soundscape of goat recordings made by the artist near the village of Therisso on the Greek island of Crete (the work is a thank you to the guitar maker who gifted her with the traditional flute).

Also included as a live component was Fish Chatter, a duet between composer and sound artist Jon Drummond and Lerner, with Lerner performing with hydrophone, tank and water, and Drummond live-processing field recordings by Bandt.

Concluding the concert was the radiophonic work Rivers Talk - Bandt and Barclay's first collaborative composition for the Blue Gold/Rivers Talk album. The theme of the work is Australian River ecology, examining ongoing issues of river care (the Murray River in Mildura, Victoria and Queensland's Noosa River) and the sensitive relationship of humans and nature.

The concert and album launch were a part of Diffuse Season 2, a performance series of sound and music design at the Bon Marche Studio at the University of Technology, Sydney, curated by Drummond over May and June 2012 as part of his residency with the university. The first Diffuse series by Kirsty Beilharz in 2011 was a finalist in the 2012 Art Music Awards in the Excellence in Education category.

AMC resources

Ros Bandt - AMC profile
Leah Barclay - AMC profile
Blue gold - CD details on the AMC website
'Sounding the Amazon' - a blog article by Leah Barclay on Resonate (23 January 2012)
'Ros Bandt and Johannes S Sistermanns - 15 years of collaboration' - a feature article on Resonate by Melinda Barrie (9 May 2012)
Ear to the Earth concert details (on the AMC website)

Further links

Hearing Places (soundscapes by Bandt, Barclay, and others)
Ear to the Earth (Electronic Music Foundation)
Electronic Music Foundation
Diffuse concert season 2

Janine Marshman is the AMC's Online Business Manager. She has a background spanning business and marketing and the performing arts: she has a Master of Commerce, majoring in marketing, and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in music performance, both completed at the University of Sydney.


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