From Ruthless Jabiru: Postcards from the New World – Eugene Birman

Originally posted at The Sampler:

Much like two distant branches of a very large family, Australia and the United States (the latter, in which I grew up) don’t know enough about each other – at least, when it comes to their continually emerging classical music traditions, they don’t. As the British Empire’s more distant outposts, historically speaking, and both defined just as much by their Anglo-Saxon origins as their burgeoning immigrant communities, the two nations’ cultural identities developed in parallel: similar objectives, yet rarely meeting.

The most superficial and common discourse on the nations’ cultural life takes up exactly such questions but rarely discusses the cultural identity of the continents before the arrival of Western Europe colonists, yet it is exactly this “native” identity that is primary in understanding where we – and they – are all going, and where we are coming from. At…

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Byte #003 Birman


Eugene Birman Imago Dei (Excerpt)
Performed by Ruthless Jabiru, Kelly Lovelady conductor
Sound and Music Portfolio workshops, Union Chapel, London, 2013-2014
Remix and video by Kelly Lovelady

Celebrity Soft Spot Kelly Lovelady

Originally posted at Noted:

Kelly Lovelady is a Perth girl now based in London where she is founder and artistic director of the Australian orchestra Ruthless Jabiru. She drinks tea with Sir Colin Davis, conducts concerts for Greenpeace and lives in a house boat on a canal. This is someone you need to know about!

What music gets your heart racing?
I do a lot of different types of listening these days. Sometimes Im listening to the musicians, sometimes the repertoire, the interpretation, the program, the chemistry, the venue, the sound of a composer, the sound of an instrument, the strength of a piece, the impact of a conductor, the list goes on. My ear responds differently to music I know well compared to something Im hearing for the first time. I do get excited about discovering new composers and their music. At the moment I cant get enough of Counterstream Radio which is the online broadcast of New Music USA. I also love Late Junction (BBC…

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Sculthorpe’s last ‘Postcards’ to get a hearing in London

Originally posted at Limelight Magazine:

Ex-pats Kelly Lovelady and Ruthless Jabiru plan to play one of the composer’s final commissions.

It’s just over a year since the passing of Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe, yet it seems that the man whose music inspired so many still has a few surprises up his sleeve. Aussie conductor and founder of the ex-pat ensemble Ruthless Jabiru, Kelly Lovelady, commissioned Sculthorpe back in 2012 and, although the work was never completed, she now hopes to raise the funds to allow what did make it to the page to be heard.

“I can’t remember exactly how my friendship with Peter started but I think I’d decided to write and say hello when I was performing some of his flute music in the 1990s,” says Lovelady. “I’d also read his book Sun Music around that time and his idea of the Pacific…

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Byte #002 Sculthorpe


Peter Sculthorpe Djilile (Excerpt)
Performed by Ruthless Jabiru, Kelly Lovelady conductor
City of London Festival, LSO St Luke’s, London, July 2011
Remix and video by Kelly Lovelady

Answers on a postcard

Originally posted at Kelly Lovelady:

Last month the first anniversary of Peter Sculthorpe’s passing quietly slipped by. Some of you may remember back in 2012 when Peter accepted my commission to write a collection of miniatures for my chamber orchestra Ruthless Jabiru. Although Postcards from Jabiru was never completed, Peter’s sketches for the piece still leave us with something rich – his own impression of where we should go from here.

Peter spoke to me years ago of the gentle jabiru and its mesmeric leggy gait but through this project I think he wanted me to see the duality of Jabiru – as equally a pin in the map, a land, a people, a place from which postcards are sent – and a conversation starter about open pit uranium mining within Kakadu…

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On Reflection: a Concert for Peter Sculthorpe

We are now crowdfunding to support a unique realisation of Peter Sculthorpe’s final unfinished work in an historic London event one year on from his passing.
Press release: https://www.relevantnow.com/stories/sneakbee/361

Everyone was a bird

Originally posted at Inside Story:

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 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 correspondence. Yet perhaps the fact that she is writing to a stranger enables her to…

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Byte #001 Boyd


Peter Boyd Australian Jabiru (Excerpt) from Coalface
Performed by Ruthless Jabiru
Union Chapel, London, February 2014
Remix and video by Kelly Lovelady

Ruthless Jabiru commission shortlisted for 2014 Lithuanian music awards

Ruthless Jabiru’s recent commission Sandhi Prakash by Egidija Medekšaitė has been shortlisted for the 2014 awards of the Lithuanian Composers’ Union and Lithuanian Music Information Centre in both Composer of the Year and Performance of the Year categories. A live recording of the premiere from our programme The Past is now on Soundcloud: