Artist, musician, educator

Environment Music Day

“It strikes me that the galvanising aspect of percussion is the art of creating sound. But to execute this task one must learn to listen. Through listening it becomes possible to discern subtle changes: presence-absence, addition- subtraction, foreground-background, known and unknown.

The wind sounds differently in the pine tree and the eucalypt, and sounds different when blown from the ocean or the desert. The birds command their space as soloist and in chorus, despite the frogs, despite the insects. And the undergrowth in drought, where every movement echoes for miles in an eruption of cricks and cracks, is not the same as the softness after rain.

The more one tunes into the infinite variability of sound – both natural and man-made – the greater the sound palette becomes. Percussion is free of restriction and we are the only ones defining it. We are at liberty to create and recreate our instrument, our sounds and our attitude on a daily basis.

The fact that as percussionists we have always been the repository of any new, awkward, and unloved sound – that composers have challenged us to exceed boundaries – has turned us into amazingly adaptable 21st Century musicians.

The bush day is an invitation and a provocation to listen.
Familiar works will be performed in new environments.
New works will be spontaneously created within their own sites.
Listening exercises will guide us to cleanse our ears and reignite the specialness of sound. Movement will remind us of the kinetic trigger in percussion.

I have never really known what percussion is and am no longer interested in searching for that answer.

But I am endlessly interested in finding ways to hear our world, and to connect with communities, ecologies, cultures and place.

Will a bush day help your snare drum roll?

You may be surprised."



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