Vanessa
Tomlinson

Artist, musician, educator

Early Warning System

Early Warning System is a new Australian percussion group, co-directed by two of Australia's most innovative percussionists, Michael Askill and Vanessa Tomlinson.


Michael has contributed so much to the identity of Australian music over 4 decades of work, commissioning composers, composing works himself, and generating huge enthusiasm for Australian percussion through his work withSynergy. Early Warning System harnesses his pioneering experiences, and combines with Vanessa’s eclectic style of playing and interests. Together with emerging percussionists from a flourishing Queensland scene - including Rebecca Lloyd-Jones, Cameron Kennedy, Nozomi Omote and Stephanie Mudford - EWS offer music that celebrates our position in the world, with an Asia-Pacific perspective, and our interests in deep listening to landscape and singular sound sources.


Central to this is the timbral sound-maze of composer Erik Griswold and the austere calm of Alaskan composer John Luther Adams. Both composers represent a way forward for acoustic percussion performance that acknowledges the listening detail of electronic music, and is accepting of particularities of place. EWS have performed Tan Dun’s Snow in June (a very northern hemisphere perspective!) with soloist John Addison on cello, the epic Strange and Sacred Noise by John Luther Adams, Griswold’s new A Leaf Falls, and Michael Askill’s trio Free Radicals which deals with rhythmic cycles and the joy of percussing

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