In just over a month, I'll be a university graduate (assuming I pass everything) - that's a scary thought. Lots still to be done before then, however - no complacency from me.
I had a fantastic workshop last week with the WAAPA Big Band, rehearsing raine square for my recital. This is a sonic and visual representation (or exaggeration) of 'peak hour' in the Perth CBD; At every point, I control both the ensemble's sound and a group of field recordings taken from the source to create a kind of live, fluid installation piece that can last for an indeterminate amount of time. The idea is to really challenge the notion of what a 'big band' can do and the scoring processes they are exposed to, and I'm very glad the band have latched on to this idea in a very supportive way; they're coming up with fantastic sonic ideas as a group! The other quite 'experimental' work in the program is called don't be afraid of white space, which explores live processing with a large ensemble and time ratios in natural human conversation, which is achieved through spectogram analysis of recorded conversations. Sometimes these recordings are done without the knowledge of the person I'm talking to; it's all part the 'study' into different social situations and contexts. This year has been all about pushing myself into new compositional territory, and it's definitely been worth the challenge!
WAYJO have started rehearsing Daniel Susnjar's new suite, Musica Crollica, which is inspired by Danny's PhD research into Afro-Cuban music. I always find it fascinating playing music written by a drummer, as their conception of harmony evolves into something very different and they have a monumental hold on rhythmic concepts. That's transferred into the band learning about quite complex 12/8 rhythms, which are a lot of fun to read! Danny's very much from the jazz world and directs us as such; he's fantastic to work with, and communicates very clearly. Looking forward to getting stuck into the music before the concert next month - just a few days before my recital...
In amidst this craziness I've also been working on a couple of theatre shows for The Actors Hub, writing up some ditties, improvisations and tunes for melodica and piano (sometimes at the same time) and trying out my new live processing rig by both constructing electronic manipulations of my own sound and sounds that the cast make. These opportunities are always really awesome and often inspire more large-scale pieces based off these ideas, so it continues to be an important collaboration.