Artists at Resonant Bodies Festival


Sofia Jernberg

Sofia Jernberg- voice
Jim Denley- alto saxophone

JERNBERG One Pitch: Birds for Distortion and Mouth Synthesizers
JOHAN JUTTERSTRÖM Mun. Hand. Lunga (world premiere)
JERNBERG/ DENLEY Improvisation #1

Powerhouse experimental vocalist Sofia Jernberg (Ethiopia/ Sweden) is known across the world for her compositions, her spectacular improvisations and the unique palette of sounds she commands. Her focus for this Resonant Bodies performance is on the incredible acoustic possibilities of the human throat, exploring and extending its scope without the aid of external or electronic effects. The set will open with a solo by Sofia after which she will be joined by Jim Denley (saxophone) in a new composition by Johan Jutterström (Sweden) that takes these adventurous musicians to their limits.


Rully Shabara

Rully Shabara- voice
Ramberto Agozalie & Daniel Cesar- drums
Raghav Handa & Melinda Tyquin- movement

SHABARA & ENSEMBLE Retas Semadi (Unmeditate)

Indonesian vocalist Rully Shabara is an adventurer of the human voice in extremis. His output folds together elements from the Indonesian punk and experimental music scenes in performances that evoke ritual, possession, trance and transcendence. His Resonant Bodies set is the premiere of a completely new piece, Retas Semadi (Unmeditate) which drags the becalmed listener towards the screaming face of inner truth along a path of gruel, grit, mud, and darkness. The set begins with Shabara’s powerful unamplified voice. Dynamic textures and sounds form a gateway into the heavy, constant tread of unmeditative, mind-numbing percussion, ending in a terminal state of spiritual awareness. Retas Semadi features Indonesian drummers Ramberto Agozalie & Daniel Caesar from Shabara`s new project Setabuhan, and Sydney-based dancers Raghav Handa and Melinda Tyquin who transform and interpret vocal energy into an array of bodily experience.


Sonya Holowell

Sonya Holowell- voice
Jonathan Holowell- piano
Elia Bosshard- installation

HOLOWELL & HOLOWELL Ply, with sculptural installation Vertical Field

Sydney vocalist Sonya Holowell presents two duo collaborations, with pianist/improviser Jonathan Holowell and designer Elia Bosshard, together in a ‘parallel composition’ on tonight’s program. Holowell will perform the long form improvisation Ply, standing with Bosshard’s Vertical Field, a large-scale sculptural installation which embraces Track 8’s unique architecture. These juxtaposed and independent works of sound and sight also form a greater whole, offering scope for interaction which could shape and direct the musical performance and audience perceptions of incidental relationships. The improvised musical elements will be spurred by instinctive responses to present-tense visual, kinaesthetic and acoustic stimuli as the artists perform a ritual of trust in the spontaneous processes of organising sound.


Deborah Kayser

Deborah Kayser- voice
Nick Tsiavos- double bass

KAYSER & TSIAVOS One Hundred Months, Third of East

Deborah Kayser has for several decades, been a guiding voice for new, innovative vocal music in Australia. Her set for Resonant Bodies is the next chapter 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.

1. 4.00 AM
I have never been here before
My breath comes differently
The sun is outshone
By a star beside it     Kafka

2. Silver light on the Landing
I can hear the birds flying above the sea
Spreading rumours about me    Trakakis

3. Shifting Minds
These words,
slowly dissolve into cries that gushed them forth
which cries crystallize into the thoughts that spurned them
which thoughts can be traced to the thoughts that bred them
which hope becomes once more a river of feeling
which river is reclaimed by the sea
which sea has no more questions today
and even fewer answers anyway    Trakakis

4. Floor of Heaven

5. Metanoia
I know you cried day after day
from the depths of your heart
because i did too
I know you felt alone and abandoned
weak and wounded
because I did too    Trakakis

6. Pulse: Rotation
Each day faces you like a murderer    Mowaljarlai

7. Rue de Clichy
The scent of midnight breezes
…expansive horizon of the blue sea, especially during sunset
Vodka and lemon soda on ice
… sound of children laughing and playing
prayerful silence
music … poetry … art
messy secondhand bookshops
beauty in people   Trakakis

8. Prayers and Admonitions
This world is gone
I must carry you   Celan

9. Night Sweat
Kyrie eleison


Mitchell Riley

Mitchell Riley- voice
Jack Symonds- piano
Benjamin Carey- electronics

JACK SYMONDS The Shape of the Earth (2017- 2018), world premiere
text by Pierce Wilcox

Star of ten of SCO’s most imaginative shows, Mitchell Riley’s return to Sydney is marked by the premiere of a new staged song cycle by Jack Symonds and Pierce Wilcox which takes as its inspiration Patrick White’s iconic novel Voss and reimagines it completely. Symonds and Wilcox are concerned not to emulate the epic, heroic tone of the original (already a Grand Opera by Richard Meale), but rather interrogate its ideas in 21 quizzical miniature songs, reflecting shards of a complex, broken persona. This Voss is an idealist thrown into a world he longs to understand- yet which remains always out of reach. The five parts of this work trace a journey from comic disbelief to flayed loneliness, with White’s indelible creation hovering just in the background.

To make this kind of work in Australia in 2018 requires a loving scepticism of the idea of Romantic, European ambition and an unflinching desire to try to understand how it became a dominant force in 19th and 20th century culture.

A tailor-made work which will push Mitchell’s voice and body into new and extreme territory, featuring the composer at the piano with electronics performed by composer and technologist Benjamin Carey.


Ariadne Greif

Ariadne Greif- voice
Alessandro Pittorino- organ
Benjamin Carey- electronics

SHAWN JAEGER Träumerei from DREAMS & NIGHTMARES (2014, rev. 2018)
RYAN CHASE The Jabberwocky (2010, rev. 2018), world premiere
RICARDO ROMANIERO Paint Fantasy (2018), world premiere
FRANZ SCHUBERT (transcribed by A. Pittorino) Erlkönig (1815)

American soprano Ariadne Greif is “an artist known for her fearless performances of raw emotionality.” (NY Times). She writes:

“Here’s what I am thinking about: childhood at the root of how we understand adults, childhood mythologized and distorted through the lens of adulthood, the importance of juvenilia, storytelling, fairytale, transcription, and creative play. Shawn Jaeger’s Träumerei is a dream episode from my long-term pet project—a theatrical multi-composer commissioning piece called DREAMS & NIGHTMARES—and is musically based around a deconstruction of an eponymous children’s piece by Schumann.

Ryan Chase wrote a large ensemble piece called The Jabberwocky for me nearly a decade ago when we were both still students, and this is an adult gut-remodel of the piece in a completely new and wild form! Kaija Saariaho’s Lonh is a sketch for her now-famous opera L’amour de loin. It describes an utterly theoretical and mythologized love in a way that always transports me back into the passionate, intense imaginary scenarios I created to play in as a kid. For Paint Fantasy, Ricardo Romaneiro took inspiration from some photos of a fabulously intense finger-painting session I had roughly 28 years ago. And Erlkönig, which was explained to me in terrifying detail as a small child, is eighteen-year-old Schubert’s formal Opus 1, and the song I want to carry in my back pocket everywhere! It seems to suggest expansion to a lot of composers; perhaps what we do in this set will be more like heresy!”

Ariadne Greif is represented by CADENZA ARTISTS LLC.

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