Update From The Artistic Director

“Unprecedented”, “uncharted waters”, “new normal” – I think collectively we are so worn down by these now hackneyed words that they have become meaningless. Of course, in any case, what was meant by them? What is normal? Certainly Tura’s whole reason for existence is to constantly explore that which is unchartered and to never rely on precedent. We have always prided ourselves on being flexible and to be able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances.

We could not have done so much of what we have over the past 33 years if we didn’t hold those qualities as central to our way of working.

This is not for a second underestimating the social, cultural and economic convulsions of 2020 that have affected the globe in such a complex and tragic way. In Australia, we are so relatively “lucky” in all ways at this time, but again, suffering is extensive and the future implications unknown.

Within this turbulence, Tura has adopted what might be considered a quiet approach with a view to the longer term. Since restrictions made live events and in-person projects (e.g. residencies) impossible, we have taken time to take stock.

Tura has taken modest steps through the Tura Adapts Commissioning Program to stay connected with both creatives and “audience”. The response to call-outs was overwhelming, and the content outcomes are humbling in the breadth of rigour and passion expressed through what soon will be a suite of 20 new Australian compositions. We congratulate and thank all the composers, sound artists and videographers that have created and will create such meaningful work. And we look forward to announcing new commissions across the remainder of 2020.

We are not going to overstate some brave new world of arts delivery. It has been a goal of Tura’s to increase online delivery for more than many a year. Certainly this year has given focus to that with the next 6 months seeing a roll-out of up to 40 new audio and video projects and a new website towards the end of the year which will create a refined delivery of that new program.

Three months ago we postponed all “live” program to 2021 including a very extensive regional and some international program. The latter stays postponed, but with the Kimberley re-opened we are currently negotiating with our community partners as to what may be possible this year in terms of residencies and tours. Stay tuned.

Development programs continue throughout this year including the second Summers Night Women Composers Program with performance outcomes in 2021.

With recently announced support from the Australia Council and the Ukaria Foundation, a new collaborative project between Mark Atkins and Erkki Veltheim starts development in November this year.

There are several major projects on the verge of finalisation… when they do we will certainly be letting you and the world know.

We are incredibly grateful to the State Government of WA through Lotterywest for their recently announced COVID-19 Relief Fund Grants and to be one of the recipients through the Resilient Organisations stream. Shoring up the present and helping plan the future is essential for the cultural life of the state and nation, and these funds will go a long way to enabling that to happen.

Gratitudes in the same direction for a pre-COVID announced Lotterywest Organisational grant which amongst some system strengthening programs is also an archive program. Consultant archivist Christine Benthien with in house Jameson Feakes will be working over the next 6 months on the ocean of material from the last 33 years. Out of this work will come new pathways of access to curated streams of content.

Adapting to the now but equally planning for future years with the increased contingency of change, we look forward to continuing the journey and for you joining us with at least some part of it.

Tos Mahoney
Artistic Director
Tura New Music

Tura Adapts 2020 Commissions Online

Tura’s online commissioning program Tura Adapts is now live.

Tura Adapts is a program designed to enable the creation of new work and its delivery in these times of restrictions.

This first phase created across three programs; @TheRootsNo Borders, and A Different View, to both create new online content, and support practitioners for whom both opportunities to earn and to create have diminished so unbelievably.

Completed programs from @TheRoots and No Borders are available now with more still in progress. A Different View will be delivered across the coming months.

Artists were encouraged to think digital and adapt to the isolated space, creating outside of the regular performer-to-audience world. The outcomes are a combination of audio and video and audio-only, with composers and video artists attempting to navigate and make sense of their newfound isolation.

Selected artists for each program are:

@TheRoots                                                    No Borders
Erasers                                                           Anthony Moles & Carmen Morales
Annika Moses                                                Dylan Crismani
C. Tsang                                                         Hilary Geddes
Gabbi Fusco                                                  Kate Neal & Sal Cooper
Josten Myburgh & Adam Pultz-Melbye         Leon Ewing
Nick Stark                                                      Nat Grant & Jutta Pryor
Steven Alyian                                                 Pedro Alvarez
Tao Issaro                                                      Thea Rossen & Michael Sollis

Tura received an overwhelming number of submissions from the callout and thanks all applicants for taking the time to apply. We will continue to look at ways to create further opportunities for artists during this time.

Tura Adapts 2020 Commissions Call-Out

Applications are now open for Tura’s online commissioning program.

With all 2020 live and person-to-person projects postponed until 2021, Tura is developing new online-delivery content.

Part of that process is the commissioning of new digital work across three programs; Perth program @TheRoots, National program No Borders, and film and sound program A Different View, to both create new online content, and, in our small way, support new music and sound art practitioners for whom both opportunities to earn and to create have virtually dried up.

Tura drives the evolution of new music and sound art and thus encourages submissions across a broad range of practice which push out the edges and challenge the status quo. Applicants are encouraged to think digital. This is an opportunity to adapt to the isolated space and to create outside of the performer to audience world.

More information and how to apply here.

2020 Summers Night Composers Announced

Tura and project partners have the pleasure of announcing the five chosen composer mentees for the second iteration of the Summers Night Mentoring Project for Female and Non-binary Composers. This biennial national mentoring project was established to support and mentor female and non-binary composers to create a new composition with the aim of growing the gender diversity of composers in music programs Australia-wide.

This year’s selected composers are Aviva Endean (VIC), Hilary Kleinig (SA), Bree van Reyk (NSW), Kate Milligan (WA), and Frankie Dyson Reilly (QLD). The mentoring team for 2020 is Cat Hope, Gabriella Smart, Erik Griswold, Damien Ricketson, Vanessa Tomlinson, Olivia Davies, Tristen Parr, and Aaron Wyatt.

The 2018 Summers Night Project commissioned works from Olivia Davies (WA), Rachel Bruerville (SA) and Carmen Chan Schoenborn (VIC).

Find out more about the project and partners here.

Clockwise from top left: Aviva Endean (VIC), Hilary Kleinig (SA), Bree van Reyk (NSW), Kate Milligan (WA), Frankie Dyson Reilly (QLD).

Tura Adapted 2020

We are not going to repeat the obvious about the monumental challenges that face the world, the nation, the arts, our suburbs, our homes, our selves. Nor are we going to claim to overnight have the most amazing online program on the way that will somehow compensate for the massive loss of our actual live person-to-person programs planned for this year.

We know that loss is going to affect many people’s livelihoods as well as the cultural and social meaning the programs provide. That is incredibly sad at all levels of Tura activity but especially so in regard to our partners in remote communities in northern Australia.

We are, and will continue, looking at new ways of maintaining connections with all our partners, the artists we regularly work with, and the community of practice more broadly and hope we can keep you connected in some small way to them and each other.

Some parts of some programs planned for 2020 can continue as we develop new opportunities for artists, and for sharing of historic, and to be commissioned, work.

Our plan (still evolving) for 2020 includes:

1. Commissioning of new work designed for online environment including

  • opportunities for composers, composer/performers, and sound artists
  • a new series music-sound/video-film collaborative commissions.

    (details to be announced in May)

2. Composing and Mentoring phase (5 composers, 3 mentors) of Summers Night Women Composers Project will continue across 2020. Workshops and a national tour in 2021.

3. Roll out of online digital content

  • Kimberley Echoes at the Melbourne Recital Centre – currently being edited Peter Baker. Full concert version (June).
  • An album of 12 works (songs and instrumentals) from Fitzroy Valley New Music Project – Gillian Howell, Fitzroy Valley District High School students and staff, community members. Produced by Alan Pigram with accompanying video tracks (Mark Jones).
  • A series of new videos on our regional programs including Fitzroy Valley New Music Project, The Wreck, Wild Violins of Warmun, Kimberley Indonesia Project.

4. Regional and Remote Programs

We are currently working with communities and principal artists/facilitators to set up and maintain virtual contact with communities, collaborators, and participants. Various strategies are being developed to initiate or continue activities. This will take some time as not only are some of our partner communities in lock-down, they have adopted strategies such as moving elders out of community on country for their safety.

5. Living Heritage

Living Heritage will research and develop content for the archive section of our new website  – bringing Tura’s historical programs to the world – updates coming.

6. Tura Tracks

Tura Tracks was a research project (2017 – 2019) on the impact of Tura New Music’s programs in regional and remote Australia. The research, developed to create an evaluation framework, was carried out by Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet (Director, Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University) and Doctor Gillian Howell (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Griffith University). The final report was due for launching with symposia in Perth and Melbourne in March – now planning digital distribution and online forums.



Help Them!

The Covid-19 caused crisis affects the whole community and priorities of Government must focus on primary health and essential service. Tura does not hold with some notion that “the arts” hold some supreme position in society and therefore expect not to suffer along with everyone else in a time of crisis. We do, however, hold the basic tenet that culture of a society is evidence of its level of “health” and it’s positive evolution. Government support for the “cultural sector” is one measurement of that “health”. We acknowledge upfront Tura has been, and now is, a very fortunate recipient of Government funding in a dwindling pool.

However, the “sector” in Australia usually provides the livelihood for tens of thousands of artists and similarly arts workers. Some of those have some protection in this crisis by being employed by large organisations or commercial entities (though that’s not a guarantee) but many, many more are freelance artists and contract arts workers. As we know, for the vast majority of those, work, for at least the next 6 months, has dried up overnight. Government support for the arts, already decimated in the last 10 years is just not going to cope with the need. Tura joins with the growing voice for action from Government in this regard.

Tura is developing some new programs that will create new opportunities for composers, sound artists, and performers around Australia but given even our fortunate resources it will be a drop in the ocean. We are being careful not to rush too quickly with that either as we share the view that this is going to be a long haul.

So we really, really, really implore everyone to do whatever you can to support individual new music and sound art artists – buy an album, commission a new work, donate to SupportAct, offer support via ilostmygig.

Likewise, to the more vulnerable new music and sound art organisations across Australia – donate, subscribe, and volunteer services.

And especially support our regional and remote community partners who are particularly vulnerable across this time. Buy a painting or donate to an art centre, see ANKA and AACHWA.

Please lobby in any way Federal, State and Local governments to do more for artists and the arts sector per se during the crisis and forever!

Stay in touch with us via this website and the other platforms as well as the Australian Music Centre, as new opportunities to and for support become available.

Stay safe and well.

Farewell AO

After almost eight years, initially as General Manager and for the last two as Executive Director, Annalisa Oxenburgh is leaving Tura to explore new challenges and spend more time with her family.

Chair Gavin Ryan stated: “The Board is immensely grateful to Annalisa for all her work and the dedication she has shown to Tura over her many years of service to the organisation. Everyone at Tura and all of our supporters wish her the very best for the future.”

Annalisa’s wealth of knowledge of the arts sector internationally has been a pivotal element in the organisation’s growth during her tenure with the company.

Annalisa Oxenburgh commented: “Tura really is one of Australia’s leading innovative cultural organisations and its been a privilege to be able to contribute my part in its growth and development. It’s a difficult time ahead for everyone though I’m sure Tura will adapt and grow. I am looking forward to new ways of contributing to the cultural sector and the community at large”.

Annalisa leaves Tura on the 9th of April.

All Tura enquiries to info@tura.com.au.


Australia Council Funding Announcement

Tura New Music is humbled to share the Australia Council’s announcement of Four-Year Funding recipients with Tura among the 95 arts organisations nationally to receive funding for 2021 – 2024. We congratulate all the organisations across all art forms in what, in any case, is an incredibly competitive process – one we wish was less so, as there are so many organisations doing such essential work for Australian cultural life who have not been funded simply because the Australia Council does not have enough funds to serve the nation in the way it has always aspired to.

This would have been a very hard time for those unfunded organisations in any case but in the current health and economic crisis it may, in some or many cases, be terminal. We congratulate the Australia Council for using part of the Four-Year Funding pool to support some of the unfunded organisations through a special scheme for 2021 but this is yet another reminder of the lack of visionary policy at Federal Government level – policy that would look to support Australian cultural life now and into the future.

We passionately support The Australia Council whose operational budget has been hacked by successive governments and the funding pool per se dropped in real terms over many years. We thank Council, Executive and staff for keeping up the fight across some incredibly challenging years and in this one particularly.

See the full list of Four Year Funded Organisations

We are most privileged to be future recipients of this funding, though of course now we, with everyone, are unsure of what that future actually is. However, we look forward to being adaptive within our existing programs, as well as developing new programs that support the broad practice of new music and sound art around Australia whilst building on our 33 years of connection with a vast array of diverse communities to deliver those programs.

We will do all that we can to support the cultural sector, especially individual artists, across this incredibly difficult and challenging time.

We are profoundly grateful to the Western Australian State Government for their support across the life of our organisation and especially for setting the benchmark for state support of cultural organisations that tell Australian stories of our time. We likewise extend our deepest thanks to all of our sponsors and donors for their past and current generosity and support alongside the belief in what is important in society.

Tura recommits to making a difference and being champions of artistic risk with meaning now and well into the future.


Media Enquiries:
Tos Mahoney
Artistic Director

2020 from Tura Artistic Director

After another extraordinary year in 2019, with projects across the Kimberley including The Fitzroy Valley New Music Project, The Sonus Tour and the Wild Violins of Warmun;  in Indonesia – the Kimberley Indonesia Project: The Kimberley Echoes Tour from Darwin through Sydney Opera House, regionals, Canberra and on to the Melbourne Recital Centre; the finalisation of Tura Tracks – the regional program evaluation program with Griffith University; the start of a new residency program in east Pilbara; the start of Soup Nights in Perth….. we are in the middle of a collective breath, gathering in all the wonderful experience, connections and material created and preparing for the year ahead.

Its with great pleasure that I can announce the 14th Totally Huge New Music Festival this coming August 19 – 23.  The Festival started in 1987 and was suitably ironically named for the time. It has metamorphised across time to be a truly international celebration of new music and sound art. This year’s Festival will more than ever bring the various arms of Tura’s activities and agendas under one umbrella with work from remote communities alongside that from big centres around the world. Program details announced soon.

Our remote residency programs in Fitzroy Crossing (Gillian Howell and Aviva Endean) and Warmun (Hollis Taylor and Noam Yaffe) continue whilst the new Philip Samartzis led program in east Pilbara establishes itself for at least the next 3 years.

The vital biennial A Summers Night women composers project will be in development across the first half of the year then tour nationally in July. See the Call Out .

In August we will be touring the ever-evolving collaboration between the Wilfred brothers from Ngukurr and Paul Grabowsky through the Northern Territory, the Kimberley and Pilbara. Dating back to 2005 and the Crossing Roper Bar project, this iteration (Bambula) will also feature violinist Erkki Veltheim and collaborations with local artists en route.

The Perth based Soup Nights series will be exploring new venues, creating a platform for local and visiting experimental work.

We are currently finalising plans for the next phase of the Kimberley Indonesia Project for the second half of the year alongside new project plans for South East Asia.

Topography of Dreams exhibition and symposia featuring the work and documentation as the result of residencies by Philip Samartzis and Madelynne Cornish in the Kimberley 2010 – 2012 is now in the hands of curator Kelly Fliedner. News soon on all of that including dates  for the symposia with their focus on climate and Indigenous weather knowledge.

We will be partnering with Ukaria in South Australia to commission a new collaboration between Mark Atkins and Erkki Veltheim to be completed by years end.

We will also be partnering with:

  • Tone List to present program as part of Audible Edge in April
  • Outcomes Unknown to present new works across the year.
  • Strut to enable dance and music collaborations

And for a bit of cashew nut butter on your quinoa bread…. we join with Karijini Experience to present the Narli Ensemble at this year’s remarkable Pilbara event over in April. Book Now ! 

We look forward to updating you on all of the above as well as new projects and events as they evolve. Do sign up for our newsletter to ensure you have all the latest news.

And an enriching year to you all.

Tos Mahoney
Founder and Artistic Director