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11 May 2018

Australia Council grants to Chan, Ford, Grabowsky, Luebbers


Sound artist Jim Denley will feature in a concert series funded by an Australia Council grant Image: Sound artist Jim Denley will feature in a concert series funded by an Australia Council grant  

New works by and projects involving many of AMC's Represented and Associate artists have been supported through the Australia Council for the Arts' most recent funding round.

'Extended Play' new music marathon, curated by Lyle Chan, received $50,000; Andrew Ford's song cycle for Halcyon and groups in Ireland, Sweden and Norway, to poems from Australia, Sweden and the British Isles, got $19,000; Paul Grabowsky's collaboration with Japanese artists 'Gravity Project' received $28,500; and Johannes Luebbers secured a grant of $14,000 for a project involving his Dectet. Robbie Avenaim's $20,000 grant goes towards a concert series featuring Jim Denley and Carolyn Connors, for persons living with disability and their families. Flinders Quartet received $23,000 for programs including works by Andrew Ford, Iain Grandage and Stuart Greenbaum, and Southern Cross Soloists $36,000 towards a concert series featuring works by Matthew Hindson, Bryony Marks and Lachlan Skipworth.

Sydney Conservatorium's International Jazz Festival secured $14,000 towards this year's event featuring Judy Bailey, Jonathan Zwartz, Stu Hunter, Mike Nock, Andrea Keller and Barney McAll. Jazz bassist Ross McHenry received $21,000 to record a new album in New York with Eric Harland and Matthew Sheens, and WA jazz singer Elizabeth Hoyt $10,000 for an album of 12 new compositions by Australian female composers.

Chris Latham's 'Diggers Requiem Young Artists Program', built around works by composers including Elena Kats-Chernin, Richard Mills and Ross Edwards, got a $30,000 grant. Also funded were the 'Hidden Sounds - Sounds in Motion' series by Clocked Out; 'Music Might Happen: A Sonic Labyrinth' project for young audiences by Aviva Endean and Justin Marshall; a collaborative work by percussionist Claire Edwardes and dancer Richard Cilli; and a new work Field Sever Points by Matthias Schack-Arnott. Rubiks Collective received funding towards a trip to Darmstadt, and Genevieve Lacey for a project developing a sustainable business model for independent artists.

Major grants to music organisations and initiatives included $80k to the Peggy Glanville Hicks Trust (to continue the Prelude network of residencies for Australian composers); $75k to the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio MESS (for operations); $31k to Speak Percussion (for the final development of Polar Force - also a 2017 Art Music Fund grant recipient); $56k to ELISION Ensemble (for performances in Taiwan, Germany, Mexico, Japan, the USA and Australia); and $30k to Tura New Music (for the 2018 WA Narli Touring Project). Smaller grants for tours featuring Australian work were given to Sirens Big Band and The Australian Voices.

All in all, 222 projects by 133 individual artists, 30 groups, and 59 arts organisations received support, totalling $6.8 million across different art forms and categories (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts, community arts and cultural development, dance, emerging and experimental arts, literature, multi-art form, music, theatre and visual arts). Close to 30% per cent of applications came from people applying for the first time - a total of 1,336 applications were received. Over 20 peers participated in the assessment process.

> For a full list of grant recipients, see the grants list on the Australia Council for the Arts website (search by decision date 24 April to get the full list with all art forms).

> Applications for the second round of funding in 2018 close on 5 June - for details, see the Australia Council website.



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The usual suspects.

With a couple of exceptions, we see the usual suspects getting the OzCow dosh. Mostly, in the art-music milieu, it's a parade of neoconservatives - musical necrophiliacs (as evinced by the Diggers' Requiem thing). I thought the Australia Council existed to support innovation, not its antithesis. If this is what's being officially financed, I view the future of Australian art music with great trepidation.