Prof. Cat Hope on Mentoring and Supporting Female Composers

To give further insight into The Summers Night Project, Tura spoke to composer, performer and Head of the Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music at Monash University, Professor Cat Hope, about why she was compelled to put the spotlight on female composers, and what this project means to her.

Cat Hope by Catherine Gomersall

“The Summers Night Project is something I have been trying to off the ground for a while. When I took part in Soundstream’s Emerging Composers Forum in 2016, Artistic Director Gabriella Smart and I decided teaming up to support composers was a good idea, and that focusing on composers identifying as women  – irrespective of their musical style, age or level of experience – was an important focus for a mentorship project at this time. I reached out to Anne Summers, whose work in support and recognition of women in Australia has been an enormous inspiration to me, with the name idea – and so with her approval, and Tura’s facilitation, the project is finally underway.

I believe we need to support and nurture composers who are fighting to be visible. Recent statistics show us that on average, music created by women is programmed and performed less often than that by men, and that is why we have made this project to support women in their endeavours as composers. Mentoring builds confidence in a unique way that I really believes adds something important to the development and presentation of new creative work.

The mentors are a mix of men and women, composers and performers. I think the composition and performance link is an important one, as many of us work as both, and the emphasis may shift depending on the project or career point. Likewise, we work in a field with men and women together, and so a mix of mentors was important. Having members of Soundstream and Decibel new music ensembles work closely with mentees means not only the experience of writing a new work is covered, but also the need to enable repeat performances on the road is part of the preparation too. Commissioning new works for a single premiere performance is a shame, so I am pleased we are able to offer not one, by three significant national performance opportunities in which the composer will be a part, and will hopefully begin a longer life for these works in Australian music communities.

For the inaugural year, the focus is in the Australian states that host the instigators and mentors on the project – South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria – the latter being where I now live and work. I hope that it can expand to other states in the future and become a truly national project with an even broader impact on composers and audiences alike.”

-Cat Hope

Learn more about The Summers Night Project and apply for the mentorship.

Call For Submissions for The Summers Night Project

Tura New Music invites female composers to submit an application for The Summers Night ProjectThis project aims to provide support and mentoring for women composers to create new compositions for performances in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Three female composers, each based in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria respectively, of any age, genre or background will be chosen to be part of this project, with the aim of growing the pool of female composers in music programs Australia-wide.

A mentorship team selected from each state and the new music ensembles, Decibel (WA) and Soundstream (SA), will work with the three selected mentees toward creating a new work for their combined ensembles to workshop and perform. The mentor mix of composers and new music performers aims to facilitate a practical opportunity for mentees to create and render their work a reality. Mentees may also propose to be part of the ensemble and involved in the performance of all works. The instrumentation for the compositions should include any or all of the following instruments: percussion, cello, flute, saxophone/clarinet, electronics and piano.

After initial consultations, planning and development, workshops of the works begin in Perth, and will then go on to be performed in concerts in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. The mentees will travel to these cities for each concert.

The participants will be provided with a commission fee, travel and accommodation in each city they visit.

More detailed information about the project, the mentors and the application process can be found here.

Local Experimental Music Heads to Mandurah and Bunbury

Outcome Unknown, a regular experimental concert series presenter in Perth, is bringing together local musicians from Perth, Mandurah and Bunbury for two nights.

A new generation of experimental musicians showcase their works at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre and Bunbury Regional Art Galleries. Expect works ranging from improvisation to precise electro-acoustic composition.

Catherine Ashley & Zoe Kilbourn
Rhys Channing
Eduardo Cossio / Djuna Lee / Dan O’Connor
Ben Greene & Kirsten Symczycz
Michael Terren
Alexander Turner

Mandurah Performing Arts Centre | Dance Studio
Saturday 17th of February
Free improvisation workshop – 2pm, entry by donation
Concert – 7.30pm, $10 entry

Bunbury Regional Art Galleries | Courtyard
Sunday 18th of February
Free improvisation workshop – 2pm, entry by donation
Concert – 6pm, $10 entry

Prior to each concert is a participatory improvisation workshop with the artists, open to all ages and skills.

Head here for more information.

New Waves Podcast: Totally Huge New Music Festival 2017

The first two instalments of the New Waves podcast from the 13th Totally Huge New Music Festival are now available to stream. Produced by Stephen Adams and captured by Gavin Fernie, the first two instalments feature interviews and live performances from the Breaking Out concert at the Perth Town Hall on the 23rd of October 2017.

Featuring 10 local young and emerging composers, the Breaking Out concert continues to be an important part of the Totally Huge New Music Festival and creates opportunities for these composers to have their works performed to a wider audience.

Special thanks to Stephen Adams for his ongoing support and work in the area of new music in Australia. Listen to the podcasts and stay updated with the New Waves podcast by subscribing.

Regional Touring Program Recording

Tura regional touring program artists Stephen Pigram (guitar/vocals), Mark Atkins (didgeridoo/guitar/vocals), Steven Magnusson (guitar), Erkki Veltheim (violin), return to Perth to record works from the Kimberley Echoes Tour. Alongside regular Narli ensemble members Tristen Parr (cello) and Tos Mahoney (flute) they will be joined for the first time by percussionist Joe Talia.

Over the past three years the regional tour through the Kimberley has amassed a songbook of works and collaborations from Pigram and Atkins along with new works from Magnusson, Veltheim and Parr. To be released in the coming months, the recording of these works is a wide brush-stroke of works from time spent in the Kimberley, and allow audiences to engage and re-engage with the artists and songs.

Tura’s 2018 Fringe Picks

Heading to the Fringe Festival this year?

Our top picks for the season are collageN, a one-woman experimental theatre show by Laura Strøbech, and House of Joys, by KAN collective (artists Kate Thresher, Annika Moses and Noemie Huttner-Koros).

House of Joys

Artists Kate Thresher, Annika Moses and Noemie Huttner-Koros will open their adult playground installation in Northbridge on January 26 as part of this year’s FRINGEWORLD Festival.

Thresher says that the House of Joys installation aims to awaken in audiences the feelings of reckless abandon and fearlessness that come naturally to kids.

“In House of Joys the rules of the adult world are suspended, giving participants the freedom to find pleasure in activities they’re ‘not supposed to’ like anymore.”

House of Joys is both an art installation and a contemporary theatre piece, with participants moving through the house-of-horrors-like space to discover playful experiences.

KAN Collective worked with Los Angeles artist Loren Kronemyer to develop House of Joys.

Kronemyer said the coming together of a visual artist, a performance artist and a musician to form KAN Collective has allowed the group to create art unlike anything else being performed in Perth.

26-28 January
Paper Mountain
Tickets & More Information

Full Media Release


In this avant-garde experimental theatre show, Laura Strøbech will explicate the corporeal, surreal, and absurd through a series of five immersive performances over three nights. Feel synchronously as she does while becoming observer, fugitive, lover, and child.

Absurdist comedy, song, movement, audiovisual effects and tactile elements feature in this one-woman immersive experience that’s both intimate and interactive.

This avant-garde theatrical experiment in traverse compels the audience to take in one another and experience genuine human connection.

“I wanted to create a sensory environment which is at once intimate and inviting and yet ultimately draws attention to the inherent separation between performer and audience.”

“There has never been a more important time to take risks, we, as a community, are stuck in an echo chamber which reinforces the same household ideas and preferences for form.” – Laura Strøbech

17 – 19 February
Paper Mountain
Tickets & More Information

Full Media Release

House of Joys and collageN are supported by Tura.

RealTime Legacy Comes to an End

Tura is sad to hear the news that this issue of experimental arts magazine RealTime will be the last regular edition.

As the magazine approaches it’s 25th year, 2018 will be spent archiving the huge back catalogue of reviews and articles which will in turn provide an exceptional insight into contemporary and experimental arts culture in Australia from the past 25 years. This archive will be freely available to artists, audiences, students and researchers with a plan to house it within a major arts institution.

Managing Editors Virginia Baxter and Keith Gallasch and all journalistic contributors must be credited for their vision and drive to continuously produce content with such rigorous insight and providing a conduit to connect the national experimental arts sector in one place.

Below is from Virginia Baxter & Keith Gallasch, Managing Editors at RealTime:

“Reality check. This is the last edition of RealTime. It’s been an extremely difficult and a very sad decision to make to draw the magazine to a close — to cease weekly publishing at the end of 2017. In 2018, the magazine’s 25th year, we will complete the archiving of the deeply personal, totally consuming project that the magazine has been for us. It’ll be a year of reflection and celebration for RealTime’s many contributors, readers and supporters and, we hope, provide an enduring legacy — a unique record of a period in which the arts have radically transformed.”


Full Festival Program

The full program for the 13th Totally Huge New Music Festival is now published on the Festival website. Running from 19 – 29 October THNMF features Anne LeBaron (USA), Speak Percussion (Melbourne), Kouhei Harada (Japan), Mitsuaki Matsumoto (Japan), Shohei Sasagawa (Japan), Rick Snow (USA), Decibel (Perth), Ross Bolleter (Perth), Chris Tonkin (Perth), Lawrence English (Brisbane), Erik Griswold (Brisbane), Callum G’Froerer (Germany/Perth), Catherine Ashley (Perth) and many more…

Full Program