Astra Concert - Andrew Byrne at 50: The Othersiders
- Date: Sunday, 11 June 2017, 5pm
- Venue: Eleventh Hour Theatre — 170 Leicester Street, Fitzroy, VIC
- Tickets: Full: $35 | Conc.: $20 | Music student: $15 — Tickets can be purchased online or by phone on (03) 9326 5424
Interactions between Australian and American elements form a special chemistry in this program for the 50th year of expatriate Australian composer, Andrew Byrne. A long-time resident of New York where he is now Artistic Director of Symphony Space, he has developed a characteristic individual technique of multiple rhythmic energies, nourished by an array of cultural sources.
The Othersiders is a composition from 2006 not previously performed, which he has revised and extended for this occasion. It explores a historical cross-Pacific phenomenon: the Australian colony in Paraguay called “New Australia”. In 1893, 300 Australians set sail from Balmain, Sydney, to establish a socialist utopia in the Paraguay jungle, inspired and led by the political activist and journalist William Lane. Byrne’s piece is a musical meditation on this audacious experiment, and incorporates verse and songs from the New Australian Newsletter of the early 1890s, including poems by Henry Lawson and Mary Gilmore.
More recent works for string quartet and stopped piano with instruments are integrated into the program. A new creation for brass band extends the historical-political theme to the Great Strike of 1917 in NSW and Victoria - a collaborative project with visual artist Tom Nicholson as part of centenary events at Carriageworks, Sydney in August.
The Othersiders. New Australians in Paraguay (2006/revised 2017) - 3 solo voices, 2 pianos 8 hands, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, improvising choir and male chorus - World Premiere
Stopped Piano Plus (2015-17) - solo pianists with instruments
Striking (2011) - amplified string quartet and chopsticks
Music for brass band (2017) World Premiere
Further information for this event is available online at the event's website or by phone on (03) 9326 5424
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