Ruthless Jabiru, King’s College London / Arditti Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – delicate, dedicated modernism

Originally posted at The Arts Desk :

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Compelling refugee-themed concert from Australian ensemble and radical new sounds from avant-garde veterans

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★★★★✩

Ruthless Jabiru is an all-Australian chamber orchestra based in London. It is the brainchild of conductor Kelly Lovelady, who in recent years has geared the ensemble towards political and environmental concerns. Previous projects have highlighted environmental damage in central Australia and the campaign to end sponsorship by oil companies in the arts sector. For Saturday’s concert, Lovelady and her colleagues turned their attentions to the humanitarian crisis of refugees setting out for Australia by sea.
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Program note: The Drowners

Originally posted at andrewford.net.au :

Andrew Ford (b. 1957)
The Drowners (2009–15)
songs for baritone, percussion, harmonium, celesta, harp and strings

This sequence of songs began as a commission from the West Australian Symphony Orchestra for a single song for the baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes. ‘A Dream of Drowning’ was first performed by those forces, conducted by Paul Daniel, on 12 March 2010, but it seemed incomplete, as though it was only the start of something. So I added five more songs to make the present work.

The Drowners was composed for Morgan Pearse to sing with two orchestras – Ruthless Jabiru in London, under their conductor Kelly Lovelady, and Camerata in Brisbane, under Brendan Joyce. The work was funded by a project fellowship from the Australia Council for Continue reading

Ruthless Jabiru – music in solidarity

Originally posted at Platforma Arts + Refugees Network :

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By Kelly Lovelady

This weekend I will conduct a musical programme in solidarity with our brothers and sisters seeking asylum by sea in the beautiful chapel of King’s College London.

My ensemble Ruthless Jabiru is a London chamber orchestra dedicated to humanitarian stories. A dual advocacy for contemporary composers and Activist narratives reflects our citizen duty as artists to engage ever more deeply with the world around us; giving voice to the truths of our allies, interrogating the accountability of our leaders and championing solidarity in all its forms.

As I collect my thoughts on another International Women’s Day I have been reflecting on the cult of familiarity and how deep it runs. In concert music culture we are dogged by this Continue reading

The Growing Edge: Ruthless Jabiru to examine asylum policy

Originally posted at Loud Mouth :

Template 258x173.jpgIn a time when democracy and basic principles of justice are precarious, there are musicians who are finding ways to use their music to support the greater good.

Written by: Kelly Lovelady

Ruthless Jabiru, a London chamber orchestra of Australian musicians, will use its forthcoming performance to foster a revival of empathy towards refugees.

Centred around the world premiere of The Drowners, a major new orchestral song cycle by British-Australian composer Andrew Ford, the project will honour tidal forces and the many lives lost seeking asylum by sea. This focal work will be framed by the music of composers Nicole Lizée, Rosalind PageWolfgang Rihm and Fausto Romitelli to conjure a muted submarine dreamscape: a dark world of distorted gravity, out of body experience  Continue reading

The Drowners

Originally posted at Resonate Magazine :

Template 258x173Andrew Ford writes about his work The Drowners for baritone voice and chamber orchestra, about to be premiered in London on 10 March. The same concert by the UK-based Ruthless Jabiru includes a premiere of a work for strings, percussion and tape by Rosalind Page.

In my sequence of songs, The Drowners, a surfer struggles against the rip (or dreams he does); a drowning man is dragged back from the cold North Sea by his wife, as his laughing child watches from the beach; a toddler drowns in a well in the 19th-century colony of Augusta, Western Australia; grieving parents are visited by the wraiths of their drowned children; a man, out of his depth all his life, drowns when he swims ‘too far out’; the King of Naples is believed to lie at the bottom of the sea, his eyes having turned to pearls. You might be forgiven for thinking I have an obsession with drowning.
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Everyone was a bird

Originally posted at Inside Story :

Template 258x173Music | It’s no surprise that Messiaen was a prisoner of war when he first made use of birdsong, writes Andrew Ford

Earlier this year I composed a song cycle for baritone and orchestra [The Drowners] that includes words from a letter by the nineteenth-century West Australian botanist Georgiana Molloy, telling of the drowning of her infant son. For obvious reasons I have been thinking about it again these past few days.

Setting a poem to music is one thing, setting somebody’s letter is another. In this case the diction is rather formal. Georgiana is writing to a man in England she has never met, a collector of plants to whom she sends specimens. She tells him of her child’s drowning in order to explain her tardiness, apologising for presuming on the professional nature of their Continue reading

Ruthless Jabiru to examine asylum policy

Originally posted at RelevantNow:

London chamber orchestra Ruthless Jabiru will use its forthcoming performance to foster a revival of empathy towards refugees.

Centred around the world premiere of The Drowners, a major new orchestral song cycle by British-Australian composer Andrew Ford, the project will honour tidal forces and the many lives lost seeking asylum by sea. This focal work will be framed by the music of composers Nicole Lizée, Rosalind Page, Wolfgang Rihm and Fausto Romitelli to conjure a muted submarine dreamscape: a dark world of distorted gravity, out of body experience and ominous fantasies of the inner ear.

Ruthless Jabiru is an ensemble uniquely dedicated to exploring humanitarian, sustainability and social justice stories through the music of contemporary composers. Using orchestral Continue reading

We the pacific

Originally posted at Kelly Lovelady:

The Pacific as a peace force is a powerful idea for me: an oceanic body named for its energetic flow and Activist potential where others are known only for their territory.

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CCL Slovenia: Meet The Participants

Originally posted at Creative Climate Leadership:

Julie’s Bicycle and PiNA are pleased to announce the participants for our second Creative Climate Leadership course. We have selected 23 leaders from 89 outstanding applications.

Creative Climate Leadership (CCL) is a pan-European programme for artists and cultural professionals exploring the cultural dimensions of climate change. The second CCL international training course will take place near Koper, Slovenia, between 8th-14th October 2017, facilitated by Slovenian-based sustainable development and training NGO PiNA, and Julie’s Bicycle, a London-based charity supporting the creative community to power action on climate change.
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Kelly Lovelady, conductor

Originally posted at Meet the Artist:

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Who or what inspired you to take up conducting and pursue a career in music?
Conducting felt inevitable for me as a teenager: a natural evolution despite my oblivion at the time to everything it would eventually entail! The realisation was unceremonious- not really a dream or desire but a moment of clarity. I was lucky to find my two conducting teachers in the years that followed and both continue to mentor me almost 18 years on.

Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?
I think my tastes and philosophies are largely the result of producing my own work. When you find yourself responsible for every detail you start to reconsider the possibilities. If your self Continue reading