Blast from the past: Big Brown Blues with John Fredericks and Nick Carver


Here’s one of the first songs I ever (co)wrote, definitely one of the first to get recorded (back in 2001). Former band mate John Fredericks just made it available on SoundCloud (I don’t have a copy any more).
It’s a hoot!

Recording of Sticks & Stones, Bricks & Bones

Audio, Events
Sticks & Stones, Bricks & Bones

Recording of my mid-year Honours recital New Sounds Above Ground, featuring: Sarah Coghlan – Violin Aviva Endean – Clarinet Rebecca Lane – Flute Luke Paulding – Piano Jess Voigt – Soprano Saxophone and myself on Electric Guitar and live electronics performing my new piece Sticks & Stones, Bricks & Bones. Apologies for the low bitrate, my server didn’t like how big the file was at higher res. newsounds flyer

Fat Lip as played by the Victorian Police Band

Audio, Past Projects

This last Friday as part of our final assessment for our arranging subject at VCAM we had some big band charts played by the Victorian Police Band. This is my pseudo-concession to commercial band writing, filtered through a recent nostalgia for Thelonius Monk and Charles Mingus. Conducted by Daryl McKenzie.


It’s amazing what the acoustics of a particular room can do to mutate the natural sound of instruments, aside from the obvious distortion resulting from my little recording device being too close to a very loud band you’ll notice that the trumpets seem to get swallowed up in the background, the opposite of what one would expect, consistently overpowered even by the saxes. So in short, the acoustic of the room where this was recorded was weird in the extreme.

This is Where They Are

Audio, Dance, Past Projects

This was a dance project I worked on in 2008 with choreographer Caley O’Neill as part of the completion of her Masters Degree at VCA. The music explores space and a kind of lyrical minimalism, using computer editing to tease a short excerpt of piano improvisation into a 25 minute theme and variations. Both the dance and the sound were very much inspired by the words of Norwegian writer Tarjei Vesaas, in this instance largely by his book The House in the Dark which describes Norway’s involvement in World War II, in particular depicting the goings on in a country house during wartime using it as a metaphor for the country as a whole.

Audio sample

Caley’s words about the piece are below…

Program Notes

This is Where They Are is an installation piece that explores the writing of Tarjei Vesaas. A Norwegian writer with a gift for detail, his novel The House in the Dark has been the stimulant for this work. Written during the war, its controversial words saw it buried in a zinc box for 5 years until it publishing in 1947. Filled with deranged yet fascinating characters this work explores the many physical traits they posses and their inhabiting of the house.

This year has taken me on an amazing journey, on which I have been lucky enough to discover the essence of my own art making. Here I search to find a deeper more embodied performative state in which thick physical environments are created. Through a deeply investigated exploration of improvisation I have tried to create an immersive and intricate physical style that is both interesting and immersive.

Derrida talks of our societies obsession with sense making. However it is here that I ask you to do no such thing. Sit and watch, listen and feel, I ask that you let your imagination do the rest.

I know only how this work is structured…..not what it is about.

Created By: Caley O’Neill

Choreographer – Caley O’Neill  in collaboration with the performers

Performers – Alex O’Neill-King, Susan Van Den Ham and Jessica Devereux

Costume and Set Design – Emily Collett and Caley O’Neill

Composer – Camille Robinson

Lighting Design – Alexandre Malta and Caley O’Neill

This Is Where They Are


This event at Contemporary Dance Australia

Institute of Italian Culture Concert wrap-up

Audio, Events

A quick bit of background on this event: earlier this year the Institute of Italian Culture and the VCAM school of Music held a series of workshops hosted by Carlo Forlivesi as part of the composition competition “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space”, for which all the participants selected a poem by an Italian poet from a list provided, and composed a work inspired by the text. The intention of the competition was to celebrate the Italian language, as well as mark the centenary of the founding of the Italian Futurist movement.  Following the workshops three finalists were selected from the participants, Chiaki Kato, Mike Solomon and myself, and the ensemble Quiver prepared the work s for performance at the final culmination of the process: today’s concert at Iwaki Auditorium.

This afternoon Quiver (Aviva Endean, Jessica Fotinos, Rebecca Lane, Luke Paulding, Matthias Schack-Arnott) delivered a pretty amazing performance premiering Kato’s “Alti Alati”, Solomon’s “granini di luce beccuciati da uccelli di silenzio” and my piece “5 Epigrams”. A special mention should also go to Flavia Coassin and Tindaro Di Luca for their recitations of the poetry, and of course thanks to the main organisers Dr Stefano Fossati and Dr Donna Coleman. The concert was recorded by the ABC and hopefully I’ll soon have some audio to put on here, at least an excerpt. I believe I also saw someone there videoing the event, and hopefully I can get hold of a copy as audio only wouldn’t really do the piece justice, there being a lot of visual performance elements.

As for my piece itself I’m glad I had such dedicated performers working on it, digging into the text of the poem and my research on the Futurist movement took me out on a limb with a few of the ideas I threw in there and being the excellent performers they are Quiver made it work. What follows is the text from the preamble that Dr Coleman read out before the piece.

“This piece picks out what I found to be the most vivid phrases in each
section of Ventroni’s text, and responds to and illustrates them
aurally and peformatively. These at times confronting images and the
abstract mode of their combination formed the foundation of this
piece, upon which I composed my own poem in sound.
At a fundamental level inspiration was also taken from the rhythms of
Ventroni’s language in the original and in translation, and from the
very idea of translation itself, which as an English speaker was
unavoidable in dealing with the text and which became very important
to me in making this work.”

This event at the IIC website