Aphids

Jonathan Marshall

Aphids’ artistic director David Young has a distinguished career as a new music composer. The company he is affiliated with is less well known, largely because the fascinating projects mounted under its banner tend to be will-o’-the-wisp events, with long gaps between them. The company has however been enjoying considerable success in Europe for several years. This year’s Melbourne Festival marks Aphids’ definitive Australian coming out, with 2 new music events from the company: a composition from Young accompanied by projections drawn from the FBI’s database of skin colours (Skin Quartet) and a collection of near impossible to play solo contemporary classical violin pieces, performed by Yasutaka Hemmi, as the title suggests, as a kind of Fight With the Violin. The most interesting feature of this company is the way it departs from the annual or biannual concert series so common in new music. Aphids events typically involve a high degree of performativity, with music not necessarily being a feature. For example, theatre-maker James Brennan’s The Glass Garden (2001-2002) is auspiced by Aphids, while another of the company’s projects was composer/ director Richard Rijnvos’ poetic-critical, live staging of Samuel Beckett’s radio play Radio 1 (1999). Productions for 2003 include work by prolific young local playwright Lally Katz, returning to her early interest in writing for surrealist puppetry. In short, while Aphids may not have the rough-shod energy of the old Cabaret Voltaire, their music and performance program reflects a similar interest in contemporary manifestations of avant gardism and cross-arts.

RealTime issue #57 Oct-Nov 2003 pg. 7

© Jonathan Marshall; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 October 2003
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