Marrugeku-Tura Creative Development Project

Broome Western Australia
13 – 19  December 2020

This week in Broome, WA an exciting music and dance research and development collaboration between Tura New Music and Marrugeku Dance Theatre is unfolding. The project explores cross-cultural connections and differences, with a diverse cultural mix of artists joining the project from around Australia and abroad.

With Marrugeku’s commitment to find new opportunities for the Broome dance community, their artists include local Yawuru dancers Annejanette Phillips as well as Tara Gower, a long time dancer with Sydney’s Bangarra Dance Theatre. Dancer/violinist Eric Avery of Yuin, Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwaan and Gumbangirri people from NSW joins the project, now living in Darwin has been in many of Marrugeku’s productions and labs. And the dance theatre company’s co-artistic director Dalisa Pigram brings a wealth of knowledge through her dance and choreographic focus.

Tura brings in 3 musician/sound artist hailing from Tura’s 2020 Sonus2 project with Tristen Parr (cello), Iranian Esfandiar Shahmir (daf and ney) and Tos Mahoney (flute).

As our last project for the year, Tura continues its ongoing commitment to community engagement work throughout northern Australia. The collaboration has the view to a performance outcome being included in Tura’s highly successful regional and remote community programs as well as endless possibilities for local and regional artists.

Tura’s Artistic Director Tos Mahoney says “We have all been aware for some time of the affinity between Marrugeku and Tura philosophically, artistically and geographically… This is a wonderful opportunity for both organisations to explore these connections,  developing new work and understanding.”

Live performance from Anthony Pateras

In a series of fortunate events for Perth audiences, composer, pianist and electro-acoustic musician Anthony Pateras finds himself in Perth after returning from a European tour.

As part of the WAAPA Feast marathon day of music on Saturday 5 December 2020, staff, students and alumni from the Composition and Music Technology department will present eight hours of new music and experimental works. At the conclusion, Anthony will perform a rare 45-minute non-prepared acoustic piano solo at WAAPA’s Spectrum Project Space from 7:30pm.

Music lovers can also see a plethora of new offerings from WAAPA music departments on that day spanning jazz, contemporary and classical from 11am to 7pm. Entry is free for all events including Anthony’s live performance.

More info

New presentations as part of Perth Festival 2021

Tura has partnered with Perth Festival to present events as part of their 2021 program including Hymns for End Times by Rachael Dease, Alluvial Gold by Louise Devenish, Stuart James and Erin Coates, as well as the commissioning of new pieces by Rebecca Erin Smith and Lydia Gardiner for the One & Many chamber music series.

The world premiere of Hymns for End Times by composer/sound designer/vocalist Rachael Dease with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra is happening on 18 February 2021 at His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth. This special event celebrates one of WA’s most distinctive talents and the release of her first solo album of the same name.

With the support of West Australian Symphony Orchestra and accompanied by the vocal ensemble Voyces, Dease’s spellbinding voice and magnetic stage presence will take you through intimate lullabies to orchestral heights in this captivating one-off music event.

Alluvial Gold by percussionist Louise Devenish, composer Stuart James and visual artist Erin Coates takes place at Goolugatup Heathcote – Gallery from 10-13 February 2021, bringing a visceral drama to the often-forgotten worlds below the surface of the river.

Sculptural percussion instruments modelled on dolphin bones, native oyster shells and marine ecology are paired with vibraphone and electronics in this premiere performance, which exists as and between art installation and concert performance.

One & Many will be performed in Hackett Hall in the WA Museum Boola Bardip featuring two of WA’s most esteemed musicians – violin virtuoso Shaun Lee-Chen on 6 & 7 February and soprano Sara Macliver on 27 & 28 February.

The centrepiece of Shaun Lee-Chen’s concert is one of the masterworks of western music – Bach’s Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor. Joined by St George’s Cathedral Consort under the direction of Dr Joseph Nolan, this solo violin work is illuminated with entwined chorale melodies in a reinvention by German musicologist Helga Thoene. Works by Arvo Pärt and a new work commissioned by Tura from WA composer Lydia Gardiner completes this program.

Sara Macliver is one of Australia’s most revered and versatile artists begins and ends this concert with female composers – Hildegard von Bingen and a new work commissioned by Tura from WA composer Rebecca Erin Smith. In between, she is joined by wind and percussion ensemble Wind Quintet Plus for a performance featuring Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne, a selection of lieder from Richard Strauss, Schumann’s Dichterliebe and moments from Mozart’s Wind Serenades.

Tickets and more info from Perth Festival

Tura continues its projects in the Kimberley with the Warmun Residency

Tura New Music continues its projects in the Kimberley, WA with artistic director Tos Mahoney in Warmun last week for a ten day residency with Broome filmmaker, Mark Jones, and Perth based producer/curator Jessica Wraight furthering the ongoing Programs in the area.

One of the projects, which began in 2018, is The Wild Violins of Warmun with renowned composer, performer and teacher Hollis Taylor, where students at Ngalangangpum School continue to create new sound worlds and storylines on the 40 violins brought in for the project. During this years residency new students were included in the program as it continues its long journey of discovery.

Watch the video to learn more about the The Wild Violins of Warmun:


Another artist-in-residence project in Warmun is ‘The Wreck‘  in association with Warmun Arts Centre, which started in 2017 in the hands of sound wizard Jon Rose, when an old car wreck was converted into a musical instrument and sound installation in collaboration with the local community. In 2018 ‘The Wreck’ was further renewed, when it was painted by Warmun artists  including Gabriel Nodea, Shirley Purdie, Gordon Barney, Nancy Nodea Lindsay Malay and Mark Nodea transforming ‘that moda car’ into a carrier of country and story.

During the visit new stories and connection were told and recorded, all building up to the curation of a deep and lasting cultural project.

‘The Wreck’ will soon be on the move. In 2021, it’s embarking on a journey that adds a whole extra dimension to the project – stay tuned.

L-R: Nancy Nodea, Tos Mahoney, Andrew Daylight

The Warmun Residency is made possible by Healthway promoting the Act-Belong-Commit message.

Fitzroy Valley celebrates Twin Residency

As part of Tura New Music’s on-going program in Fitzroy Crossing, East Kimberley, WA, the 2020 instalment of the Fitzroy Valley New Music Project – this time facilitated by Peter Keelan and Cecile Williams – recently finished at Fitzroy Valley District High School.

The three-week twin residencies involving instrument-making workshops and development of a student art program, culminated in the students from years 3, 4, 5 & 6 presenting their uncanny instruments and art to the community with an event titled ‘Flowing’.

The Fitzroy Valley New Music Project is an ongoing project in the Valley produced by Tura New Music and directed by Gillian Howell.

The Project and residencies are made possible by Healthway promoting the Act-Belong-Commit message, and the Rowley Foundation.

Situ-8 2020 Artist Announcement

Tura, in partnership with STRUT Dance and the State Theatre Centre of WA, present SITU-8: a new initiative for for artists interested in site-based creativity. SITU-8 is a celebration of the State Theatre Centre as the home of contemporary dance in Perth, WA.

We are pleased to announce that the 2020 season of SITU-8 will present collaborative work by local artists: James Vu Ahn Pham, Sally Richardson, May Greenberg, Talitha Maslin, Ellen-Hope Thomson, Joshua Pether, Mitchell Harvey, Ashleigh White partnering with composers and sound artists David Stewart, Felicity Groom, Matthew Jones, Rebecca Riggs/Bennett (Elsewhere/Rebecca), Simon Charles, Louis Frere-Harvey, Tess Stephenson (Cr0nes) and Alexander Turner.

SITU-8 will be be presented Nov 26-28 2020 at the State Theatre Centre of WA. This is a free ticketed event which had been made possible through the Lotterywest Relief Fund. Tickets will be available soon.

Read more about he composers here

Composers: L-R. David Stewart, Felicity Groom, Matthew Jones, Rebecca Riggs-Bennett, Simon Charles, Louis Frere-Harvey, Tess Stephenson (CR0NES) and Alexander Turner

Choreographers L-R. James Vu Ahn Pham,  May Greenberg,  Joshua Pether, Sally Richardson, Ellen-Hope Thomson, Mitchell Harvey, Talitha Maslin and Ashleigh White

Strut Dance            

Recognition of Cat Hope and Louise Devenish in 2020 Art Music Awards

At the 2020 Australian Music Centre and APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards, Tura was especially delighted to see Speechless by Cat Hope take out the award for Work of the Year: Dramatic.

Tura has been connected to this project since the beginning, producing the contemporary opera from its development in 2017 with Vitalstatistix in Adelaide, to its world premiere, full-scale performance in the 2019 Perth Festival at Sunset Heritage Precinct. Tura worked closely with Composer and Director Cat Hope, and in partnership with Perth Festival and Monash University, presenting the powerful opera featuring one of Australia’s foremost interpreters of contemporary opera repertoire Judith Dodsworth, Indonesian vocalist Karina Utomo, throat singing specialist Sage Pbbbt, and Perth soprano Caitlin Cassidy, with a combined community choir of 30 voices and a the Australian Bass Orchestra lead by members of Decibel New Music Ensemble.

Cat said of the program: “Music’s power is in the abstract. It is not my intention to speak on behalf of anyone – rather, I have used music to describe my personal response to one of the great humanitarian crises of Australia today.”

Perth Festival Artistic Director Wendy Martin described Speechless as “an utterly powerful, visceral experience… and experiencing it was extraordinary.”

Years in the making, Tura honours Composer and Director Cat Hope not only for the work itself but her tenacity and rigour in seeing it through to full production. This award is a wonderful recognition of this.

Videographer Peter Baker captured the first rehearsal in Melbourne by Speechless soloists with composer and director Cat Hope and Music Director Aaron Wyatt.

Louise Devenish’s award for Performance of the Year: Notated Composition, as well as her State Luminary award, was highly deserved, recognising her ongoing advocacy, commissioning and performance of new percussion music in WA. Her program, Sheets of Sound, was presented by Tura and PICA. The sold-out season featured works by Louise Devenish and Stuart James, Matthias Schack-Arnott, and Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh, and Seesaw Magazine called it a “tactile sound world… [bringing together] electro-acoustic music, new instrument designs, and the intersection of performance art with theatre.”

Finally, Tura extends congratulations to all of the winners, and to the Australian Music Centre and APRA AMCOS for a highly successful, online event. The hour-long ceremony, which will be available to watch for 30 days.

See the full list of award recipients in the Australian Music Centre’s Resonate.

Read about Tura and Gillian Howell’s Award for Excellence in a Regional Area for the Fitzroy Valley New Music Project.

The 2020 Fitzroy Valley New Music Project Twin Residencies

In 2020 the Fitzroy Valley New Music Project (FVNMP) features twin residences by Peter Keelan and Cecile Williams, 7 – 25 September.

The Fitzroy Valley New Music Project in Fitzroy Valley, Western Kimberley, has been running since 2017 and is directed by renowned music educator/composer/performer Gillian Howell.

In 2020, Peter will work with students, community groups, and individuals in Fitzroy Valley for an instrument-making process, as informed by the ongoing project by Gillian Howell.

Cecile will collaborate with Fitzroy Valley District High School to develop a student art workshop program and align this program with the instrument making and musical work carried out by Tura Artist in Residence, Peter Keelan.

Artistic Director Tos Mahoney says of the Residencies:

“Tura is so grateful to all of our Fitzroy Crossing partners and especially to Peter and Cecile for jumping so quickly to the opportunity that arose to continue the great work that Gillian has been doing through the FVNMP. What’s already happening there now will complement the ongoing program so meaningfully. We thank them, and all of our supporters, and look forward to the outcomes of this intense period of residency.”

The FVNMP has just won this year’s Art Music Award for Excellence in a Regional Area.

The Fitzroy Valley New Music Project is supported by Healthway promoting the Act-Belong-Commit message and the Rowley Foundation.

Award for Excellence in a Regional Area in the 2020 Art Music Awards

Tura is delighted to share with Gillian Howell the 2020 APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre Art Music Award for Excellence in a Regional Area for the Fitzroy Valley New Music Project. Tura and Gillian alike want to acknowledge and share the award in turn with all our regional partners including Fitzroy Valley District High School, Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Marra Worra Worra Aboriginal Corporation, Baya Gawiy Children and Family Centre, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre, and Nindilingarri Cultural Health Service.

Gillian and Tura thank APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre for the award and their ongoing essential work, and likewise our fellow finalists in this category and all the winners and finalists in all the categories – keeping Australian culture alive.

Tura congratulates Gillian on her rigorous methodology laid out with boundless energy, all tapping into the endless depths of creativity and inspiration at the roots of the community.

Tura also acknowledges and thanks the Ian Potter Foundation, Heathway promoting the Act-Belong-Commit message, and the Rowley Foundation for enabling the project to grow and flourish, as well as the Australia Council and the WA Department of Local Government, Sport, and Cultural Industries, culture and the arts, for their continuing support.

The Fitzroy Valley New Music Project

The Fitzroy Valley New Music Project is an ongoing community music program based in Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley, Western Australia. The program is facilitated by internationally renowned music educator/composer/performer Gillian Howell as part of Tura New Music’s Regional and Remote Residency program.

2019 was the third year of the FVNMP consisting of a series of residencies that have built, and are building, collaborative foundations and relationships developing music projects through the exchange of ideas: mapping interests; exploring possibilities; assessing skills, and developing creative languages for shared art-making. Participants have learnt to explore music-making together and devising and performing their own music composition. Outcomes include new works (songs and instrumental composition) presented to local audiences and recorded for distribution.

Learn more about the Fitzroy Valley New Music Project.

See the full list of award recipients in the Australian Music Centre’s Resonate.

Philip Samartzis at the National Gallery of Victoria

The National Gallery of Victoria is presenting a series of sound works by Philip Samartzis in an online exhibition entitled The Kimberley.

These sound compositions by Philip Samartzis were produced from raw material recorded during three residencies with Tura in the Kimberley. Philip collaborated with the communities of Djarindjin, Lombadina and Ardyaloon (One Arm Point) on the Dampier Peninsula in 2010, the Warmun Art Centre in 2011, and Waringarri Aboriginal Arts in Kununurra in 2012, engaging in the deep listening practices of Indigenous people.

This online exhibition feature abridged versions of compositions created by Samartzis from these residencies with the full version destined for a new online exhibition entitled Topography of Dreams, produced by Tura.

The NGV online exhibition features works from the residency communities held in the NGV collection.

Hear the diverse soundscapes at the National Gallery of Victoria webpage.

Red Butte by Churchill Cann 2013