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4 April 2023

Recipients of the MOMENTUM Commissions announced

Helen Svoboda and Reuben Lewis Image: Helen Svoboda and Reuben Lewis  
© Celeste de Clario; Duncographic

We are thrilled to announce Helen Svoboda and Reuben Lewis as the recipients of the latest round of its MOMENTUM Commissions, boosting the creation of new works by Australian artists in jazz and improvised music.

Double bassist, vocalist, and composer Helen Svoboda will create a new work for her experimental-folk/jazz duo MEATSHELL, with saxophonist Andrew Saragossi. Svoboda's commissioned work will see an exploration for musical symbiosis between deeply human and acoustic interaction and electronic augmentation.

"To be selected as one of the 2023 MOMENTUM Commission recipients is such an exciting honour," Svoboda says. "The realisation of this project will allow me the space and time to incorporate electronics and live processing into my skill-set, breathing new life into my compositional practice as an artist working at the cross-sections of jazz and experimental music. I am so grateful to the AMC for facilitating this opportunity and supporting the development of explorative, creative work."

ARIA-nominated and award-winning artist, Reuben Lewis will create a new work for spoken word, trumpet, electronics, and synthesisers. The work will see a collaboration with award-winning poet, Huda Fadlelmawla, in the first time her powerful poetry will be set to music. The new work is planned to be recorded and produced by Lewis and released as a full-length vinyl LP by the Australian imprint Life Before Man, as part of a full-length duet work by Lewis and Fadlelmawla.

On receiving the commission, Lewis says, "It is an absolute honour to be selected as a recipient of the MOMENTUM Commission. I feel immensely privileged to have the chance to develop and produce this new work... Huda's words breathe fire, speak truth and transmit healing, and I absolutely can't wait to hear how they transform the music!"

Svoboda and Lewis were selected from a competitive pool of creators in jazz and improvised music by a panel external to the AMC. Their musical vision was supported by clear plan to develop and present their proposed works. Both artists plan to present their new commissioned works within the next year.

This round of the MOMENTUM Commissions is generously supported by Hendrik Prins.

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