October 18, 2011 ExhAust @ Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn

October 18th 2011, ExhAust debut concert at the Galapagos Art Space in Brookyln.

Works by Australian composers Julian Day, Nadje Noordhuis, Kate Moore, William Gardiner, Michael Sollis, Fiona Fraser and Tim Hansen.

Teeth (2010) Julian Day

I grew up in a rock household, my father being the singer in a post-punk band in Melbourne. I remember him heading off to ‘work’ each night (which really meant to ‘play’) and the variety of playthings he left me: microphones, amplifiers, drums and synths. I also recall the constant eau du whisky, the seedy hangers-on and the ultimate sense of losing oneself in that subterranean world. It eventually claimed my father at the age of 38. Teeth continues my long dialogue with the sounds of a scene that remains for me personally problematic. Rock gave me my primary musical language but my commitment to it has been tentative. Teeth sits low and tight; it embraces rock’s elemental power with a certain hedonism and its tension constantly grows. Yet it never really gets anywhere, rarely rising above its self-imposed tessitura and attaining no overt goal. Teeth is specifically inspired by the spiky low opening of Gerard Brophy’s Angelicon (dedicated to Lisa Moore) and the thumping piano riffs of 70s glam rock. It was originally written for Chronology Arts and premiered at the 2010 ISCM World New Music Days. It was written in Sydney, Perth and New York. (JD)

Migration (2011) Nadje Noordhuis

Migration was composed in August 2011 while staying with family in Goulburn, Australia. From the balcony of a terrace house, she watched birds fly to and from telephone poles, with a sweeping view of the tree-lined hills of country New South Wales. She was inspired to write a commentary about the feelings of nostalgia, hope and excitement experienced when journeying to a new location. (NN)

Reverie (2009) William Gardiner

Reverie is the first movement of a four-movement work, entitled Onliving. Originally written for violin, cello, piano, flute, clarinet and analog delay effect, the piece has been reinterpreted for the ensemble appearing this evening.

The delay effect in Reverie is used to stretch out the notes, rather than to repeat them rhythmically. Using an analog ‘bucket brigade’ delay, rather than a digital delay, makes this possible, as the delayed sounds are smoothed, muffled and warmed, whereas a digital delay would provide a clear, exact repetition. The analog delay also allows the pitch of the sustained notes to be altered; if this were attempted with a digital delay, the sound would break up. (WG)

Bloodline (2011) Kate Moore

The heart beats so fast when you arrive at a place that you recognise is your ancestral home. Something magnetic in the ground draws you in like ropes from the Earth. (KM)

Happy Deathday Mister Robot! (2011) Michael Sollis

There comes a time in every robot’s life when it will be told that the promise of electronic immortality is all but a story grown-up robots make up to protect the innocence of their younger brethren.  Thus begins The Great Learning, where a robot must come to grips with the inevitability of its future death.  The Robot Congregation marks this rite of passage with the ritual Deathday, welcoming the younger robot into its new stage of life. Although we have yet to discern exactly how the Deathday is performed or how it affects the psyche of an individual robot (since no human has yet been allowed to witness it), the piece of music Happy Deathday Mister Robot! is a guess as to how the ritual may occur.  This estimation is based on imagery from Ingmar Bergman’s film The Seventh Seal coupled with the themes from the adapted screenplay Blade Runner amongst several other sources. (MS)

Exh-Aust-ed and Jet-lagged (2011) Fiona Fraser

There are some things that are difficult to express with words but those of us ex-Aust to NY know the feeling all too well.  What day is it?  What city is it?  Everything seems somehow familiar yet strangely different?  You want to stay awake but your whole body aches for sleep.  Despite your best efforts you drop off…. only to be jolted awake a second later! Then finally it’s time for bed …..but you are restless and sleepless.  The unfamiliar sounds of a different city provide a strange accompaniment to your confused thoughts. (FF)

Good Times! (2011) Tim Hansen

Good Times is a celebration of the life of Blair Milan.
An actor and a true bon vivuer, Blair enjoyed good food, good wine and the company of good people: he enjoyed good times. Larger than life and unfalteringly positive in any situation, “Good Times” was Blair’s eternal catchphrase, which he cheerfully declared whenever he toasted to the health, hopes and fortunes of his friends and family. But the brightest flames burn the briefest – Blair was struck down with sudden ferociousness by Acute Myeloid Leukemia in April this year, and after a brief but courageous fight in intensive care he passed away on April 17th 2011, a few months shy of his thirtieth birthday. He was surrounded by an enormous group of friends and family, in which I am eternally grateful to have been included.

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