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Ensemble Offspring

Random Audio Sample: Swell (sextets: 2 clarinets, 2 percussion, 2 violins) by Michael Smetanin, from the CD Springtime

With over 15 years experience, Sydney based Ensemble Offspring is Australia's premiere new music group. The innovative ensemble has a reputation for adventurous programs that embrace unique repertoire and composers from Australia and abroad. Artistic Directors Damien Ricketson (composer) and Claire Edwardes (percussionist) lead an impressive line up of versatile musicians whose wide ranging talents combine as Ensemble Offspring. This group, committed to asking "what if?" relish an open minded approach to music making resulting in shows that are striking sonic and visual experiences. The group has been featured in the Sydney Festival and presented 'Sizzle' - innovative and laid back events in bowling clubs across Sydney.

Articles by and about Ensemble Offspring

Ensemble Offspring: To the Max by Benjamin Millar

The cavernous Carriageworks foyer greets audiences with splashes of bold modernity slotted alongside time-capsule echoes of near-forgotten industry. If the 21st century is settling into an aesthetic, it appears to be this – not obliteration of the past through fetishisation of the new, nor a desperate attempt to preserve a past slipping from our grasp as we attempt to clutch it. This compromise between the old and the new, original form and necessary function, mirrors a struggle music presents every time a composer sits to write – the weight of history pushing back, the imperative that drives them to break or break through.

Hear the World Differently – Ensemble Offspring by Damien Ricketson

If the world isn’t ready for your music, don’t change your music, change the world that listens to it...

Claire Edwardes - Coming a full circle by Anni Heino

A dozen or so years ago, Claire Edwardes was a talented young woman studying percussion at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and performing as part of the newly-founded 'Spring Ensemble'. In 2009, with a wealth of experience under her belt, she is working with young composers from the Sydney Conservatorium as part of the Kammerklang initiative – and remembering her own immersion into contemporary music as an opinionated, second-year student...

Ensemble Offspring - Thirteen Colours by Phil Vendy

Ensemble Offspring opened the New Music Network 2009 season on the first wintry night of the year, presenting a memorable program of five works that banished all thoughts of being cold and wet. Their program was an enlightening and transporting one, free of the familiar or predictable, which held the audience attentive in silent concentration throughout. The music came from two Australian composers, Bozidar Kos and Christopher Tonkin; two French, linguist-turned-composer Tristan Murail and the late Gérard Grisey; and one American, John Luther Adams...

Winners of the inaugural Art Music Awards announced by Australian Music Centre

Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and the Australian Music Centre (AMC) have announced the winners of the inaugural Art Music Awards, the only national event in Australia to acknowledge the enormous achievement and creative successes of Australian performers and composers in the genres of contemporary art music, jazz and experimental music.

The gala event held at the Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay on Tuesday 3rd May 2011 honoured winners across nine national categories and seven State Awards, spanning performance, composition, outstanding contributions to Australian music by individuals and organisations, music education and regional music. An additional Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music, as determined by the Board of Directors of APRA and the AMC, was also presented.

Trans-Tasman Residency : Michael Norris and Ensemble Offspring by Damien Ricketson

The Trans-Tasman Composer Residency Exchange is a partnership between SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music, and the Australian Music Centre, to facilitate opportunities for Australian and New Zealand composers and ensembles.

Damien Ricketson, Co Artistic Director of Sydney-based Ensemble Offspring, talks about their involvement in the most recent incarnation of the project, working with New Zealand composer Michael Norris.

A Compendium of Cage: Whales, Mushrooms and Hymns by Melissa Lesnie

A daylong exploration of John Cage’s unique sound aesthetic makes for a revelatory concert-going experience. The shared vision of Ensemble Offspring and Song Company has yielded an imaginative project, marking the 15 th anniversary of the composer’s death and celebrating the impact of his philosophies on subsequent generations of musicians and artists...

Trans-Tasman Residency is a rare bird by Michael Norris

'The concert itself was packed to the gunwales, a fantastic result for Ensemble Offspring showing that contemporary music is developing a strong following in Sydney (how I wished Stroma would get such an audience!). I was very happy with the performance of Save Yourself and the overall level of musicianship was world-class; long may the EO reign!'

Insight: SILVA – Something from nothing by Mary Finsterer

Something composers rarely discuss in an open way is the fear of having no ideas. There’s both an excitement and horror attached to it – like waiting for a light to shine while staring into an abyss. The only time I have had open discussions about this topic is when I am in the role of a teacher, which of course allows the student a safe environment to face the feeling of emptiness and of feeling small in front of the massive task that unavoidably lies ahead...

Works commissioned by Ensemble Offspring

To keep things reasonable by David Young

Cycles & circles by James Humberstone

Fern by Kate Moore

Works commissioned and written for Ensemble Offspring

The German hills by Peter McNamara

Leafcutter by Melody Eötvös

CDs, Books and Kits featuring Ensemble Offspring

CD: Springtime / Ensemble Offspring

CD: Between the keys / Ensemble Offspring.

World premieres given by Ensemble Offspring

Waiting to turn into puzzles (audiovisual work) by David Young— (Chauvel Cinema, Paddington, Sydney)

The Secret Noise by Damien Ricketson— 29 Jun 14 (Petersham Bowling Club, NSW)

Deviations on White by Damian Barbeler— 18 Mar 14 (Riverside Theatres, NSW)

Helix Reflection by Jane Stanley— 16 Nov 13 (Campbelltown Arts Centre, NSW)

Being and Time I: Lacrimae Rerum by Rosalind Page— 23 Oct 12 (Sydney Opera House - Utzon Room, NSW)

Silva by Mary Finsterer— 23 Oct 12 (Sydney Opera House - Utzon Room, NSW)

Leafcutter : for B flat clarinet and vibraphone by Melody Eötvös— 23 Oct 12 (Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House)

Circadian Tale 7.1 (quintets) by Mary Finsterer— 23 Oct 12 (Sydney Opera House - Utzon Room, NSW)

Cycles & circles : flexible instrumentation by James Humberstone— 15 Sep 12 (Clarence Valley Conservatorium, Grafton, NSW)

Some shade of blue (duos: vibraphone, other string) by Damien Ricketson— 2 Sep 11 (Sydney Opera House - Utzon Room, NSW)

Hydra (duos: 2 other woodwinds) by Amanda Cole— 2 Sep 11 (Sydney Opera House - Utzon Room, NSW)

Sensitive spot : amplified piano and recordings by Kate Moore— 4 May 10 (Eugene Goossens Hall)

Fractured again : multimedia work for three performers, electronic music, glass installation and video by Damien Ricketson— 21 Jan 10 (The Great Hall, University of Sydney)

Comparing the eye to a telescope : soprano with ensemble by Barry Conyngham— 13 Nov 09 (Peter Karmel Building, ANU School of Music, ACT)

Ether etude : opus 77 by Andrew Schultz— May 09 (MLC School, Sydney)

The German hills (quartets: clarinet, percussion, violin, cello) by Peter McNamara— 24 Oct 08 (Sibelius Composer Awards Concert, Sydney Conservatorium of Music)

To keep things reasonable (trios: mezzo-soprano, tenor, bass with chamber ensemble) by David Young— Sep 07 (Carriageworks, Sydney)

A line has two (soprano with chamber ensemble and electronics) by Damien Ricketson— 29 Jul 04 (The Studio, Sydney Opera House, Sydney.)

Trace elements : any two wind & any two string instruments by Damien Ricketson— 23 Sep 03 (Frederic Chopin Academy of Music, Warsaw, Poland)

Streams of consciousness (duos: viola, cello) by Dominik Karski— 30 Nov 01

The mysterious demise of one Brody-Marie : a bellow-drama in seven acts by Nicholas Vines— 31 Mar 01 (Paddington United Church, Paddington)