ANAM alumna Madi Chwasta first appeared in the 2015 BIFEM Argonaut presentation of Pierre Boulez’s Sur Incises. Returning in 2017 for her third consecutive festival, this agile and expressive percussionist will present this year’s Cushion Concert. This cherished opening concert forms part of the Capital Venues and Events monthly under five-year-old music programme. The Cushion Concert reminds accompanying adults how open our ears can be to new sounds and ways of listening, as they share their concert experience with BIFEM’s toughest, most honest and adorable audience.
Madi CHWASTA, Percussion
Jenna Lyle’s sonically-driven choreographic practice is characterised by works where performers and audiences are equally tasked to enter into states of listening and discovery. Lyle’s works are psychological exercises that require shifting between open discovery-oriented states and task-driven, critical states. In Plank Rodeo, the performers neither sing nor play, but instead reframe their musical training to execute a series of specific physical and listening tasks while ‘riding’ a pile of precariously heaped and specially amplified wooden boards. The resultant sono-choreography of ligneous groans and creaks is live-processed by the composer at the mixing desk. Plank Rodeo will open the official weekend programme of 2017 BIFEM, returning to Bendigo Art Gallery for the first time since 2014.
Matteo CESARI, Flute
Elliott GYGER, Conductor
Elena SCHWARZ, Conductor
2017 BIFEM heralds the return of our inaugural festival guest Matteo Cesari. Matteo will appear as an Argonaut-featured soloist in Stefano Bulfon’s colourful micro-concerto Fogli d’Iride, conducted by 2014 BIFEM alumnus Elliott Gyger. Each year’s box office is dedicated to commissioning new music for the following edition. This opening night concert’s title work Neon Pig is a world premiere, written for Argonaut by Paris-based Argentinian composer Fernando Garnero. Neon Pig is one of three significant works to be conducted by the exceptional Swiss-Australian Elena Schwarz in her BIFEM début.
Jacob ABELA, Piano
Mauricio CARRASCO, Electric Guitar
Madi CHWASTA, Percussion
Aviva ENDEAN, Clarinet
Judith HAMANN, Cello
Alexina HAWKINS, Viola
Jonathan HEILBRON, Double Bass
Marshall McGUIRE, Harp
Myles MUMFORD, Electronics
Michiko OGAWA, Clarinet
Ben OPIE, Oboe
Elizabeth WELSH, Violin
Tristram WILLIAMS, Trumpet
Exclusive to 2017 BIFEM is the début Australasian performance of peerless soprano, Juliana Snapper, in You who will emerge from the flood, her breathtaking virtuosic collaboration with British composer Andrew Infanti. Featuring underwater singing, this work has been presented at some of the most unlikely sites across the globe: a Victorian-era bathhouse, a Soviet Olympic training pool, the Standard’s rooftop pool in Los Angeles and a dunk tank at the PS1/MoMA in New York. Juliana Snapper began her stellar career by winning the Metropolitan Opera award for Outstanding Young Singer of the Year in 1990. Ever since then she has pushed, prodded and critiqued her operatic instrument to world-shifting effect in a practice of truly historical impact. She continues to reshape thinking around singing, opera, theatre and the potential of the human voice. Her work is the topic of research in academic journals and in books from the Oxford, Princeton and Duke University Presses. Onstage and underwater at Bendigo’s Capital Theatre for one performance only at 2017 BIFEM with live electronics by the legendary Miller Puckette.
Devised and performed by BIFEM associate artist Jessica Aszodi with composer/performer/movement artist Jenna Lyle, Grafter is a project for two vocalists, live electronics and hanging speakers. Aszodi and Lyle treat their bodies as resonator instruments, choreographically affecting their sound as they move. Like two flexible and fleshy sound boards, their bodies perform in an electronic field that samples, reshapes, echoes and occasionally feeds back against their actions. Drawing on skills gleaned from opera, composition, acoustic physiology, electronic music performance and cheerleading, Grafter is as much a practice as it is a piece. With each iteration the performers re-design and re-calibrate, exploiting their different vocal and embodied practices and the space around them. Grafter has been seen across the US, from New York to Omaha, Wisconsin, San Diego and Chicago. BIFEM is the first time the work has been seen outside the USA.
Stanisław SUCHORA, CURATOR
The Sound Gallery returns to Dudley House for its third edition, this year curated by Warsaw- and Paris-based Stanisław Suchora. Featuring a looped programme of acousmatic music, Sound Gallery is a rare chance to listen to high-fidelity surround recordings in a dedicated listening room. With a new curatorial voice at its helm, Sound Gallery will once more stimulate festival audiences across the weekend, whether you pop in for a moment or settle in for the full journey. This free event is the perfect space to experience an exceptional range of works from an extensive group of amazing composers, all of whom are making their Australian débuts in 2017 BIFEM.
For a second consecutive year, BIFEM partners with Monash Academy of Performing Arts with two pre-festival workshops, culminating in the presentation of a concert at 2017 BIFEM. Seven 3rd-year student composers from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music will workshop new short works written for and performed by the Argonaut String Quartet. This recital not only brings some new and exciting voices into the orbit of BIFEM and its audiences, but also shows the pivotal role great musicians play in the professional evolution of student composers as they complete their undergraduate years.
Mauricio Carrasco’s association with BIFEM goes back to 2012 when he was the first of three recitalists at the Prospectors Day pop-up event. As a BIFEM Associate Artist he has had a fundamental influence on the tone, content and direction of the festival. It is a distinct pleasure to present Mauricio in his newest recital programme at 2017 BIFEM, a charged and powerful hour of 21st century music for guitar by a stellar performer. This programme will be performed twice at 2017 BIFEM.
Taking the title and spirit of Rebecca Solnit’s 1998 book, Brisbane composer Liam Flenady’s new concert-length work is written specifically to showcase the impressive talents of Castlemaine multi-instrumentalist and composer Matthew Horsley. Ideas of cultural identity, division and alienation are drawn from Solnit’s tracing of the Irish diaspora into a metaphoric meditation. Flenady fashions a striking premiere that incorporates text from the mediaeval Irish epic poem Buile Shuibhne with uilleann pipes and electronics. A Book of Migrations represents the BIFEM début for both composer and performer and will be performed twice at 2017 BIFEM.
Capricorn’s Nostalgic Crickets for seven clarinets is a set of 96 unique sound events, each emerging from and receding back into silence. The complex tones produced by the players combine to create a sound mass so vibrant, pulsating, and alive that it inspired Horatiu Radulescu to develop a whole new compositional theory - which he called Sound Plasma. Samuel Dunscombe builds on Radulescu’s 'plasmatic' conception of sound, love for massed groups of identical instruments, and non-linear approach to musical time, blowing it out by a factor of 7 to create Small Infinities Together, a world premiere piece for 49 live clarinets. BIFEM will bring together a community clarinet orchestra to realize the new work, creating a sonic experience of gravitas in one of Bendigo’s most iconic architectural and acoustic spaces, the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
ARGONAUT CLARINET ORCHESTRA (BENDIGO) SOLOISTS
Luke CARBON, Clarinet
Samuel DUNSCOMBE, Clarinet l Leader
Aviva ENDEAN, Clarinet
Magdalenna KRSTEVSKA, Clarinet
Vilan MAI, Clarinet
Michiko OGAWA, Clarinet
Lloyd VAN’T HOFF, Clarinet
2017 BIFEM is looking for lots of clarinets to come and make music with us. We know you are out there, and we know you want to have an unforgettable musical experience!
Registrations available from 21 July, 2017.
Here’s how it works:
2017 BIFEM is accented by a series of performer | composer creations that contrast with the more conventionally segregated composer and interpreter designations. As a global community of diverse practitioners, we encourage approaches that may generate new kinds of collaborations and hierarchies. Despite multi-modal methods being broadly embraced and celebrated, there remains frequent and significant structural resistance throughout the different phases of creative production, from idea to audience.
Musicians are certainly recognised as much more than technicians, and composer practices inherently reflect intersections beyond notation. 2017 BIFEM unfurls along multiple lines, with vocal, instrumental and electronic performances featuring collaborative methods, each untangling concepts or authorship, agency, presence and production. The 2017 colloquium is a public conversation with BIFEM composers and performers, reflecting on life and work in the continuously bending frame of practice.
Jessica ASZODI, Convenor
Since 2015, BIFEM has featured a highly successful writers’ programme, leading to publications in major Australian media outlets. 2017 BIFEM reaffirms our commitment to sector evolution through helping to build a more informed critical culture around new music in Australia and beyond. Five emerging critics will receive expert mentoring across the festival and will be published daily as part of the RealTime-sponsored new music blog Partial Durations, bringing multiple readings of festival activities as the weekend unfolds. Selected reviews will subsequently appear in RealTime.
For applications and information on the Music Writers’ Workshop go to www.partialdurations.com/bifem-writers-workshop/
Widely regarded as Poland’s finest contemporary violinist, Anna Kwiatkowska makes her Australian début with a powerhouse programme of vignettes that includes works from an array of Polish composers, whose music is being brought to our big island for the very first time.
Packed with works for solo violin that truly showcase why she is held in such esteem, this programme promises to be a dynamic and memorable addition to the now well-established tradition of solo recitals that thread our festival’s history. This programme will be performed twice at 2017 BIFEM.
Polish composer | performer duo Sultan Hagavik make their Australian début at 2017 BIFEM with an ear-bending hour of live electronics in this made-in-Bendigo creation Only Extasy & Motion. Established in 2011, Sultan Hagavik name themselves after an IKEA mattress, perform exclusively in plastic masks and deliver exceptionally crafted and dynamic electronic music, with real-time digital treatment of sourced analogue materials. Their old school magnetic/new school granular realness is not to be missed. This programme will be performed twice at 2017 BIFEM.
This 2017 BIFEM double-portrait concert focuses on the the highly refined work of Argentinian composer Santiago Diez-Fischer and Israeli composer Adam Maor. Both composers bring to the fore a sensitivity to the immediate environment of the listener, each provoking a heightened aural awareness and a febrile intimacy. Under the rich precision of 2017 BIFEM Principal Conductor Elena Schwarz, this Argonaut Ensemble concert will be the first opportunity Australian audiences have to hear live performances from these fascinating musical minds. Adam Maor will direct the live electronics for his recently-revised ensemble work which meditates on the 2006 Lebanon war. Following her 2016 BIFEM début in XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!!, soprano Jane Sheldon will perform the three Diez-Fischer Canciones for the first time as a cycle. BIFEM’s history of presenting first-time cycles is consolidated with these exquisite gems.
Jacob ABELA, Accordion
Luke CARBON, Baritone Saxophone
Matteo CESARI, Flute
Natasha CONRAU, Violin
Samuel DUNSCOMBE, Clarinet
Stuart FISHER, Electric Guitar
Alexina HAWKINS, Viola
Jonathan HEILBRON, Double Bass
Charlotte JACKE, Cello
Charles MacINNES, Trombone
Adam MAOR, Electronics
James RUSHFORD, Piano
Jem SAVAGE, Electronics
Tristram WILLIAMS, Trumpet
Angus WILSON, Percussion
Appearing for the first time at BIFEM, young Brisbane ensemble Kupka’s Piano has already built a solid international reputation for their dynamic performances, and this triple-bill concert promises to enhance their profile further as one of the country’s most promising new music ensembles. Originally from Singapore, Parisian composer Diana Soh’s Incantare:take 2 is a ritualistic exploration of the multiple meanings of the work’s title, which in Latin means ‘to sing’, ‘to repeat with words’ and ‘to consecrate with spells’.
Liam Flenady explores ritual in a different way with his quasi-modular work Braneworlds, inspired by Lisa Randall’s book on multidimensional physics Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions. Rounding out this concert is the highly anticipated new ensemble work Fray by one of Australia’s most in-demand composers, Elliott Gyger.
Luke CARBON, Clarinets
Liam FLENADY, Electric Guitar
Graeme JENNINGS, Violin
Katherine PHILP, Cello
Alex RAINERI, Piano
Hannah REARDON-SMITH, Flute l Conductor
Jodie ROTTLE, Flute
Angus WILSON, Percussion
Erkki Veltheim’s Ganzfeld Experiment is a new solo concert-length work for electric violin and live-processed electronics, inspired by a parapsychology technique used to test a subject’s capacity for extrasensory perception (ESP). Veltheim recontextualises explicit tropes of this controversial process, such as the constant use of white noise, pink noise, red light and selective sensory deprivation. Veltheim performs as the ‘sender’ remaining out of sight of the ‘receiver’ audience for the entire duration of the work. Both homage and wry critique of this contested research, Ganzfeld Experiment is a highly sophisticated work of structural and aesthetic cohesiveness, from an artist at the peak of his creative power as both composer and performer. An absolute must-see-and-hear experience.
Erkki VELTHEIM, Electric Violin | Electronics
Keith Humble was one of Australia’s first great modernist composers. His contributions to composition, performance, pedagogy and recording left a formidable legacy when he died in 1995. Humble touched many corners of Australian musical life. He lectured at both the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University, founded the Australian Contemporary Music Ensemble and is credited with initiating the Melbourne branch of the International Society of Contemporary Music. Humble travelled the world, collaborating with musicians, poets and artists whose influence would flow through several generations of Australian music-making, playing an integral role in transforming Australian musical culture into the energetic community we have today.
In conjunction with the Fiftieth Anniversary Celebrations of La Trobe University, BIFEM pays tribute to Humble, performing music for voice and piano from across his wide œuvre - including the esoteric, unpublished gem Fragments of War Poems, the much loved 8 Bagatelles, and the Parisian 'boite de nuit' influenced Cabaret Songs. The concert will be performed on Keith Humble’s own Steinway concert grand piano, bequeathed to La Trobe, and now the cherished resident instrument of the Capital Theatre, Bendigo.
Following on directly from the HUMBLE | PIANO concert, La Trobe University lecturer Dr Dan Bendrups will convene a panel discussion about the work, life and influence of Keith Humble. Sharing personal insights and anecdotes directly connected to the late composer, the panel will discuss the legacy of Humble’s life and music in and beyond Australia. HUMBLE | FORUM commemorates the 90th year since Humble’s birth and LaTrobe University’s 50th anniversary.
Miller Puckette is known as the creator of the Max MSP and Pure Data computer music software environments, which are taught and used by electronic musicians and artists worldwide. American soprano Juliana Snapper is known for her extraordinary contributions to the operatic, art and theatre worlds through her original large-scale collaborations. These two legends and long-standing collaborators come together for the second presentation of their début guest residency at 2017 BIFEM. This recital will showcase works of their own creation, as well as the Australian premiere of works by celebrated French composer Phillipe Manoury.
As a curtain raiser to the final concert of the 2017 BIFEM weekend, BIFEM deepens its relationship with Matthew Lorenzon, who has been part of the BIFEM fold since the first Music Writers’ Workshop in 2015. In 2017, following two highly successful seasons of the Melbourne Music Analysis Summer School, Matthew will present a lecture focusing on the BIFEM Box Office commission dead oceans by young Australian composer Samuel Smith. As well as providing an analytical insight in advance of its premiere, the lecture will also offer festival audiences the opportunity to hear some preview score extracts performed live by BIFEM’s own Argonaut String Quartet.
Matthew LORENZON, Lecturer
Argonaut String Quartet returns with a dynamic programme to close 2017 BIFEM. Along with the first Australian performances of works by Anahita Abbasi and Clara Iannotta, the concert features the BIFEM débuts of two local young composers: Samuel Smith, a composer with an increasingly expanding profile, and Caterina Turnbull in her first major festival appearance, commissioned by Julian Burnside QC. The string quartet remains an inexhaustible medium, and with these four amazing musicians, Argonaut String Quartet has proven itself to be a fan favourite in the previous two editions. An unmissable concert which will draw a charged weekend of music-making to a close.
BIFEM is excited to renew its partnership from last year, with Rocks on Rosalind returning as our restaurant of choice all day and every day of the festival, the Festival Club on Friday and Saturday nights AND the home of the 2017 Composer Colloquium. Rocks on Rosalind is the pulsing heart of the festival precinct, where proprietor Finn Vedelsby has created a sophisticated yet relaxed environment, one that proved itself the perfect watering hole for the BIFEM gang. The Festival Club remains open even later this year to allow the many dynamic conversations to continue until the wee hours. See you at the bar!
This BIFEM-exclusive workshop, with unprecedented access to the truly exceptional mind of Miller Puckette, amplifies our commitment to providing Australian artists with affordable, focused professional development.
An age-old idea in electronic music is to analyse a musical instrument's sound (for instance, to find its pitch and amplitude) and to use that to drive another synthetic instrument. The aim of this workshop is to explore what can be done with this idea, using modern analysis tools that estimate pitch, power, sinusoidal components and/or spectral envelopes. Several possible approaches to using the analyses will be shown, such as: using neural networks to determine output synthesis parameters; collecting statistics to imitate behaviours; incorporating feedback from the output to the analysis stage; and/or using ambient sounds from the environment in place of the musical instrument.
The workshop will include a mix of practical and lecture-style segments. Patches will be demonstrated and created and participants can try out ideas under Puckette’s guidance. The day will also include a lecture exemplifying ways in which analysis data can be mapped to behaviours.
Participants should bring a computer, ideally with Pure Data 0.47 or later installed (this can be downloaded for free from msp.ucsd.edu), and either headphones, an external microphone or both.
Limited places only. Book early.
Charlotte Jacke hails from Bonn, Germany. In 2006, she graduated in cello performance from the Universität der Künste Berlin, where she then also worked as an assistant and seminar lecturer.
Charlotte has participated orchestral workshops with conductors Sir Simon Rattle and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. As a member of the Berlin-based jazz orchestra Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra, Charlotte has toured extensively throughout Germany, Switzerland and Korea, as well as featuring on their 2009 release Take Off.
Since moving to Melbourne in May 2009, Charlotte has worked as a cellist and instrumental teacher. She performs regularly as a freelance cellist in solo, chamber ensemble and orchestral capacities such as with Orchestra Victoria, Arcko Symphonic Project, 3 Shades Black, Click Clack Project, Melbourne Ring Orchestra, Resonant Bodies Melbourne and Australian Art Orchestra.
Charlotte works as a session and live musician for various albums with bands such as Vika & Linda Bull, The Bamboos, Bobby Fox, Luke Howard Ensemble, Cookin’ on 3 burners, Paul Kelly and Tim Rogers and also for various film scores, as well as on theatre projects.