Exit Ceremonies celebrates the darkness with three lush, pulsating new works for pipe organ and mixed ensemble, and brings together two of Australia’s most vibrant musical forces, the Australian Art Orchestra and Ensemble Offspring for the first time.
Alvin Lucier (USA), Austin Buckett (Sydney), Simon James Phillips (Berlin) are composers who are fascinated with ritual in music developed through repetition and slowly evolving patterns. For Exit Ceremonies they have each created hypnotic, immersive compositions that exploit the extraordinary array of sonic effects that can only be achieved with large pipe organs.
Simon James Phillips - FLAW (2015) for pipe organ and ensemble (WP)
In FLAW Simon James Phillips transfigures our sense of linear time using a mix of acoustic and electronic instruments. Drawing inspiration from society's ever increasing technological contributions to the world and their resulting multilayered impacts, Phillips works with subtle timbral and structural development to build complex, slowly turning textural layers that hypnotise and fascinate.
Austin Buckett - AISLES (2015) for pipe organ and ensemble (WP)
AISLES is a work for pipe organ, turntables, strings, trumpet, vocals, and two percussionists that draws on a wide range of inspirations from minimalism to hip hop and which creates a truly immersive experience for the audience. AISLES features a slowly evolving approach and sets up looped conversations between the organ, turntables, percussion and strings over which the ethereal voice of Sonya Holowell and the trumpet of Peter Knight float like kites in the ether.
'Confusing the distinction between the organic and the mechanical' - Ad Hoc (US)
Alvin Lucier - SWING BRIDGE (2015) for pipe organ and ensemble (WP)
Alvin Lucier, now in his 85th year, is one of the towering figures of twentieth century music and is famous for works that explore phenomena and auditory perception. Still highly active, Lucier lectures and performs extensively in Asia, Europe and the United States and has recently collaborated with John Ashbury (Theme) and Robert Wilson (Skin, Meat, Bone). His recent sound installation, 6 Resonant Points Along a Curved Wall, accompanied Sol LeWitt's enormous sculpture Curved Wall, in Graz, Austria, and in the Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University.
Many of Lucier's works explore the difference tones produced by two notes played very closely together and generate sonically hallucinatory effects both conceptually fascinating and sensually engaging.
EXIT CEREMONIES premiered at Sydney Festival January 2016, and was performed at Melbourne Town Hall February 2016 aao.com.au ensembleoffspring.com
Peter Knight (AAO) and Claire Edwardes (EO)
Austin Buckett, Simon James Phillips and Alvin Lucier
drums/revox B77 reel to reel tape machine
Erkki Veltheim and Anna McMichael