The opportunities that exist in Australia for dialogues with Asian cultures are among the most exciting prospects for Australian musicians, and improvised practice, which is at the core of the Australian Art Orchestra, is an ideal platform for facilitating these dialogues. The Creative Music Intensive (CMI) residency, established in 2014, is conceived to provide a unique professional development program for musicians from Australia and internationally that explores this meeting of cultures and practices.
Held at Tarraleah in the Tasmanian Central Highlands, after a stellar event in 2016, this year the cultural focus will once again centre on Korean and indigenous Australian culture. Joining extraordinary p’ansori singer Bae Il Dong and the Young Wagilak traditional songmen Daniel and David Wilfred from Arnhem Land will be Sunny Kim and more to be announced. The program will be co-directed by AAO Artistic Director Dr Peter Knight (composer/trumpet), and Dr Simon Barker (drums).
The twelve-day practice-based residency is made up of daily lectures, small ensemble workshops and open group practical sessions bringing together the extraordinary cultural traditions of Arnhem Land manikay (song) and Korean traditional p’ansori. These approaches to human voice sound very different but there is much that also links them: stories, improvisation, a focus on extreme refinement of vocal techniques, and repetitive/hypnotic rhythmic elements.
The CMI daily program is divided up into the transmission of specific information and skills development during morning workshops presented by the leaders, and the practical application of these skills in the context of music practice in the afternoons/evenings. These sessions will explore the meeting points of these two ancient musical traditions, and will encompass a diverse range of influences including Arnhem Land manikay, Korean p’ansori singing, live electronic processing of instruments, jazz instrumental and vocal improvisation, complex rhythmic ideas and extended instrumental techniques.
The central objective we maintain is to facilitate and encourage collaboration through the development of new music, using tools and ideas discussed and taught during the course of the residency.
HISTORY OF THE CROSS-CULTURAL COLLABORATION
The 2017 Creative Music Intensive is conceived upon strong and longstanding collaborative relationships, enabling a deep and trusting exploration of musical cultures. Simon Barker and Bae Il Dong’s unique collaboration has spanned more than a decade, with numerous presentations of ‘Chiri’ (a trio with Scott Tinkler) culminating in the 2014 premiere of ‘The Return of Spring’ with the full Australian Art Orchestra. The AAO’s friendship with Daniel and David Wilfred also reaches back more than a decade and has seen the ‘Crossing Roper Bar’ project tour across Australia, Asia and Europe. Strong connections were established between these faculty members in 2016 and are an incredible foundation on which to present the 2017 residency.
THE ARTISTIC TEAM
BAE IL DONG - A world-renowned Korean p’ansori singer. Traditionally, in order to master the various elements of p’ansori, singers spend long periods (100 days) in isolation, singing into waterfalls in order to ‘break’ the voice and reveal the ‘true’ tone. Bae Il Dong is one of the few contemporary singers to follow this extreme tradition.
DR PETER KNIGHT – Artistic Director of the Australian Art Orchestra, Knight is a trumpeter, composer and sound artist who has gained wide acclaim for his eclectic approach, integrating jazz, world music and experimental traditions.
DR SIMON BARKER – An exceptional drummer and teacher, Barker is known for his cross-cultural collaborations and has been a facilitator at each Creative Music Intensive. He is a lecturer in Jazz at the University of Sydney.
YOUNG WAGILAK SONGMEN - DANIEL WILFRED – voice, bilma (clapsticks). DAVID WILFRED – yidaki (didjeridu). The Wagilak Gujarra/Nyiliapidgi (stone spear group) are leaders in the performance of Wagilak manikay or song series and dance. The men are based in Ngukkur, Northern Territory, from where they travel to outlying regions performing their roles in various ceremonial functions.
SAMUEL CURKPATRICK - Academic and longtime friend of the Wilfred’s, Samuel based his PHD on Daniel and David and their music. He will join the Wildreds to teach about their stories and practice.
SUNNY KIM – Composer and singer from South Korea, whose work is predominately based in jazz.
CHRISTOPHER HALE - one of Australia’s most unique and respected improvising musicians, most known as one of the foremost exponents of the bass guitar.