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Resonant Bodies Festival

Local and international vocalists will present work, each with highly contrasting influences and sonic palettes.

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Resonant Bodies Festival

Date: 26 Jul 2018

This exclusive Australian event presents six dynamic vocalists across two nights. Swedish-Ethiopian composer-improviser Sofia Jernberg, Indonesian vocalist Rully Shabara, New York soprano Ariadne Greif, and Australian vocalists Mitchell Riley, Deborah Kayser and Sonya Holowell are invited to curate and perform in their own 45-minute sets, with no restrictions on repertoire, format, or style.

Sydney-based theatre director and lighting designer Alexander Berlage is the visual director for the Festival, with sound design by composer and technologist Benjamin Carey.

The collaborators and musical content of Resonant Bodies programs are chosen, and often devised, by the featured singers themselves. At Carriageworks a mix of local and international vocalists will present work, each with highly contrasting influences and sonic palettes. Highlights of the program include the ritualistic, punk inflected work of Indonesia’s Rully Shabara, and the premiere of a new monodrama with piano and electronics by Le Coq trained, Sydney-born tenor Mitchell Riley.

 The Porgram:

August 31: Rully Shabara, Sofia Jernberg

Indonesian vocalist Rully Shabara makes use of a wide range of extended techniques. His work fuses traditional Javanese musical forms with the experimentation of the avant-garde. The voices inside Shabara’s virtuosic body are many and spectacular. His performance at Resonant Bodies includes a new work with Indonesian musicians Setabuhan – a pattern-driven, muscular work for drummers, voice and dancers.

International acclaimed experimental vocalist Sofia Jernberg (Ethiopia/Sweden) is recognised for her compositions, spectacular improvisations and unique palette of sound focusing on the acoustic possibilities of the human throat, exploring and extending its scope without the aid of external or electronic effects. She will be joined by Jim Denley (saxophone) in a new composition by Johan Jutterström (Sweden).

September 1 (5pm): Deborah Kayser, Sonya Holowell

Deborah Kayser is considered a leader of contemporary new, vocal music in Australia. Resonant Bodies will premiere the latest development in her long-standing project, One Hundred Months, Third of East. Composed by (and performed with) contrabass player Nick Tsiavos, One Hundred Months… journeys through a kind of modernist Byzantium of the imagination, forming an architecture into which both voice and bass project.

Sydney vocalist Sonya Holowell will bring her two duos – with pianist/improviser Jonathan Holowell and designer Elia Bosshard – together for one unique performance. Placing their trust in spontaneous processes for organising sound, The Holowells’ site specific performance will be an immediate response to the architecture of Carriageworks.

September 1 (8pm): Mitchell Riley, Ariadne Greif

Mitchell Riley has appeared in ten of Sydney Chamber Opera’s most iconi­­­­c shows, he returns to Sydney from École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris.  For Resonant Bodies he will premiere a new solo work by Jack Symonds and Pierce Wilcox. Taking Patrick White’s Voss as its basis, this song cycle for voice, piano (Zubin Kanga) and electronics pushes Mitchell’s voice and body into new and extreme territory with a quizzically modern interpretation of an Australian icon.

American soprano Ariadne Greif is “an artist known for her fearless performances of raw emotionality” (New York Times). Her Resonant Bodies performance explores the complex experiences of children with new work from Shawn Jaeger, Ricardo Romaneiro and Ryan Chase (Jabberwocky). She will be joined by wunderkind New York-based Australian organist Alessandro Pittorino.

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