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6 May 2021

2021 Art Music Fund grants announced

2021 Art Music Fund grants announced

APRA AMCOS and the AMC are proud to announce the ten recipients of grants from the 2021 Art Music Fund. This year's grants go to Alexandra Spence, Alice Chance, Brenda Gifford, Celeste Oram, Ellen Kirkwood, Mary Rapp, Nardi Simpson, Noemi Liba Friedman, Stephen de Filippo and Tilman Robinson for realising their proposed projects. Each artist will receive $5,000 towards the commission of a new work.

The ten works draw inspiration from a myriad sources: the ocean's phosphorene light, the Dhurga language, family connections, mythical creatures, the history of radio. Among them are electroacoustic compositions, works of experimental theatre, contemporary jazz and chamber music; some are intended for live performance and concert halls in Australia and overseas, others will be released as albums or as part of video productions.

The AMC's Chair, Genevieve Lacey, commented,

'It's inspiring to see the vibrant creative energy of the Australian art music community evident in the list of the 2021 recipients of this life-giving fund. It's particularly exciting to see Nardi Simpson and Brenda Gifford, both alumni of Moogahlin Performing Arts and the AMC's Ngarra-Burria program, continuing their stellar compositional careers. Heartfelt thanks to APRA for creating opportunities for Australian composers, and congratulations to all - can't wait to hear the music!'

APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston said,

'I would like to commend this year's Art Music Fund recipients, who continue to push artistic boundaries, explore new musical ideas, and pursue collaborations locally and globally even in times of uncertainty. APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre are committed to supporting the innovative work of our art music composer members through this one-of-a-kind fund.'

Composer Alice Chance's funded work Heirloom, a collaboration with Rubiks Collective, explores the strength of family ties and the fragility of intergenerational memories and will be premiered in November as part of the Melbourne Recital Centre's Local Heroes series.

'Artists are vital in society, whether their work is commercially viable or not. The Art Music Fund is an extremely precious lifeline for composers who are able to benefit from it as it fosters pure creativity and uninhibited expression', Chance said.

2021 Art Music Fund recipients

Alexandra Spence (NSW): Alexandra will compose, record, release (via Room40) and launch a new album of electroacoustic music, interweaving unusual sound sources with more commonly understood 'musical' material e.g. amplified objects, degraded and submerged tape loops, and field recordings, with modular synthesis, clarinet, and voice, resulting in a shifting ambient soundscape of real and imagined places.

Alice Chance (NSW): Heirloom is a new art music work in the form of a 'mother-daughter motet', to be created by Alice in collaboration with Melbourne-based chamber ensemble Rubiks Collective. The work will receive its premiere as part of the Melbourne Recital Centre's Local Heroes series.

Brenda Gifford (ACT) Brenda's composition Waadhu (Skin in the Dhurga language) will be a notated piece of chamber small ensemble music combined with improvised elements. The piece will be a musical response to Brenda's understanding and experience of her Yuin family, relationships, culture and country.

Celeste Oram (NZ) Celeste is creating a concert-length experimental music-theatre work for Ensemble Adapter, an Icelandic/German quartet. The work explores comparative histories of radio in Iceland and Aotearoa New Zealand, dwelling on radio's varying guises as a raw force of nature, a mouthpiece for nation-building, and a site of intimate and personal connection.

Ellen Kirkwood (NSW) The Art Music Fund grant will contribute towards the writing, composing and recording of two 15-minute pieces for contemporary jazz quartet, Underwards. This music will be inspired by stunning locations in Wiradjuri country west of the Blue Mountains, and will also be influenced by Indigenous knowledge of these places, following a consultation with a local Indigenous historian.

Mary Rapp (NSW) Mary will film and record three long-form improvisations with established Australian luminaries of improvisation. She will play cello and sing, integrating Pansori (traditional Korean singing), Korean Sinawi (a form of improvising shamanistic ensemble music) and jazz.

Nardi Simpson (NSW) -barra is a series of four works centred on the four clan lands of Yuwaalaraay - Kurrajong, Native Orchid, Bimble & Swamp Oak and Lignum countries of the NSW freshwater floodplains. These works, written for and as part of Ensemble Offspring's 2021 First Nations artist-in-residence program will weave interviews with senior clan leaders with choral performances with clan and community members.

Noemi Liba Friedman (VIC) Phosphorescence will be a work for viola quartet to be premiered in the USA by New York-based viola ensemble Firewood, led by Ralph Farris. The work will explore the tiny particles of light that can naturally occur in ocean water, drawing particularly on two personal experiences Noemi has had with phosphorescence, at Croajinalong National Park, South-Eastern Australia and during a night scuba dive in Thailand.

Stephen de Filippo (WA) Stephen and oboist Niamh Dell will work collaboratively to create a new work for oboe and electronics, exploring liminal sounds that are found at the edges of pitch and articulation. Thematically, the work considers a local fascination of mythical creatures, and conceptualises Niamh's instrument as a beak - its narrow bore both enhancing and restricting performer agency.

Tilman Robinson (VIC) You Never Listen is an immersive site-responsive electroacoustic sound work. The audience experiences sound through the ears of others by shifting through 1st, 2nd and 3rd person perspectives of listening. In this immersive work, the audience will be viscerally submerged in the psychological experience of the way others hear, encouraging an empathic response to the experiences of others.

Art Music Fund applications were assessed on the viability of the proposed project, the quality of the work, and the strategy for the life and reach of the work.

Since 2016, the Art Music Fund has granted more than one-half million dollars to new works.

> '2021 Art Music Fund recipients announced' (APRA AMCOS). See also: more information about the Art Music Fund (APRA AMCOS)


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