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Artistic Director David Chisholm’s Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (BIFEM) again proved itself to be one of Australia’s boldest, intensive arts events. In a mere two and half days, committed audiences, professional, student and community players came together with egalitarian spirit to embrace thrillingly demanding contemporary music, opera, dance and sound art in the city’s centre. The unnervingly brilliant ELISION ensemble, celebrating its 30th birthday, provided three key concerts, two of them involving superb performances from Australian National Academy of Music students, and two with gripping compositions by leading Australian composer Liza Lim, whose 50th birthday was also celebrated. Today, we’re publishing a selection of reviews from the festival’s Music Writers’ Workshop. There’ll be more next week.

In our ongoing Arts Education feature, we focus on acting at the Adelaide College of the Arts and on the educational damage being wrought on the Sydney College of the Arts and the culture of Sydney by the NSW Government.

Keith and Virginia
Media Super
Adelaide Art
ADELAIDE COLLEGE OF THE ARTS       Terence Crawford, Head of Acting in this highly productive TAFE College, delineates its advantages, successes and strategies for continuity, drawing on the strengths of young teacher graduates who also speak to Ben Brooker in this report.
OZASIA 2016: BEASTLY          Artists with disabilities from Penang’s Stepping Stone and Adelaide’s Tutti Arts come together with leading Indonesian artist Andres Busrianto to create one-on-one experiences that magically challenge the human/animal divide.
SYDNEY COLLEGE OF THE ARTS FIGHTS BACK      After 10 years of teaching in the UK, Liz Bradshaw warns that the potential “death by asphyxiation” of SCA parallels overseas trends, diminishing not just art schools but Sydney as a city and Australian culture.
BIFEM 2016: HOW FORESTS THINK       Aaron Cassidy’s The Wreck of Former Boundaries is inspired by Ornette Coleman and Liza Lim’s How Forests Think by the Brazilian rain forest and Eduardo Kohn’s revelations about it. ELISION ensemble does justice to these world premieres, writes Madeline Roycroft.
BIFEM 2016: SEEING DOUBLE       David Chisholm pairs harp and guitar and Jack Symonds viola d’amore and percussion in adventurous new double concerti, revealing temptations, possibilities and risks, writes Alex Taylor.
BIFEM 2016: SPEICHER          Bec Scully vigorously applauds the Australian premiere performance by ELISION ensemble and students from the Australian National Academy of Music of Enno Poppe’s Speicher, one of the most praised and demanding works of recent times.
BIFEM 2016: PHO:TON          Out of darkness emerge single players and notes, then rows and geometric clusters in Swiss brothers André and Michel Décosterd’s accumulative creation, triggered from a keyboard by Peter Dumsday and ably played by the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra. It’s “a truly egalitarian work,” writes Madeline Roycroft.
BIFEM work
BIFEM 2016: WORK  
Claudine Michael finds herself looped within the loops generated by Marco Cher-Gibbard’s laptop processing, Ben Speth’s electric guitar and Matthew Adey’s play with light.
Data Noise
BIFEM: 2016: DATA_NOISE   Matthew Lorenzon feels “cleansed” after experiencing the hour-long arc of dancer Myriam Gourfink’s extremely slow, small movements which trigger the sounds that composer Kasper T Toeplitz transforms into layers of white noise.
BIFEM 2016: GLOSSOLALIA   Bendigo’s Argonaut Quartet play four subtly crafted works (Mexican, Chilean and two Australian) rising, from one work to the next, in intensity from musing to outburst, reports Zoe Barker.
Partial Durations Workshop
The Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music’s Writers’ Workshop participants and their Partial Duration and RealTime mentors pause for the camera before once again facing the music.

RealTime E-dttions are published by Open City an Incorporated Association in New South Wales. Open City Inc is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding body, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy [VACS], an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. RealTime’s Principal Technology Partner is the national communications carrier, Vertel.

Opinions published in RealTime are not necessarily those of the Editorial Team or the Publisher. 

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