8pm Tuesday 8 September
Chrissie Parrot Artspace
Young Victorian improviser James McLean presents a solo improvised drum kit performance, exploring the heights of virtuosity and control with sticks, mallets, motors, chains and more as his constructive/deconstructive tools. Alongside this performance, Jameson Feakes will present a program of contemporary works exploring interactions between microtonal electric guitar and electronics. Feakes and McLean will be joined by Djuna Lee (double bass) and Lindsay Vickery (bass clarinet) for a collaborative set, collectively activating the resonant acoustic of Chrissie Parrott Arts in a freely improvised field of sound.
At just 25 years of age, James McLean is fast establishing himself as one of the leading young voices in creative music making in Australia. James is best known as a drummer in numerous ensembles across multiple genres, however his work as a composer and bandleader is increasingly important to his artistic practice.
James’ compositional output is manifest through the collective trio All Talk. In 2013, James received a JUMP Mentoring grant to study with expatriate composer/percussionist Phil Treloar in Kanazawa, Japan. This resulted in a suite of original compositions for All Talk, which forms the backbone of their debut album A Shorthand of Sensation recorded and released in 2014.
Upon returning to Australian, James also began giving regular solo performances, exploring cross-rhythmic materials and compositional thinking through improvisation. This is an increasingly important part of James’ practice, and in 2014 he began recording his debut solo album (due for release in late 2015). Also in 2014, James was invited to take part in the Speak Percussion Emerging Artists Programme the first year applications have been open to drumset artists.
As a sideman in the Jazz genre, James is a member of some of Australia’s most forward thinking ensembles. To a view a list of recordings James is featured on, click here to visit the ‘recordings’ page of this website.
Aside from performing, James is undertaking PhD at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, researching rhythmic innovations and the role of the drumset in contemporary Australian improvised music; and is a co-director of Lebowskis, an organisation dedicated to presenting live jazz and improvised music on a weekly basis in Melbourne.
â€œâ€¦bring the drums a little further forward in the musical mix and with it some truly astounding musicality, not to mention dexterity, from McLean; indeed, characteristics identical with him” he brings to this music a remarkable maturity, accompanied with ears aplenty and an open mind. [Phil Treloar; Recollections: Twelve] Sarcophile
“He often uses the rims of his drums to create speech-like inflections, symptomatic of the fact that all three instruments [in All Talk] imbue the more abstract phases with a deep-seated humanity. A solo drums fragment called “Shorter in Words and Longer in Meaning” conveys McLean’s grasp how to create an atmospheric context in which to build a narrative “rather like looking locally for one’s sources, inspirations and role-models, rather than just emulating heroes from across the seas.” John Shand; reviewing A Shorthand of Sensation for australianjazz.net
Jameson Feakes is a Sydney born, Perth dwelling guitarist specialising in experimental and modern classical music. A recent graduate of WAAPA, he has received lessons and masterclasses from world renowned guitarists such as Johannes Müller, Timothy Kain and many more.
Until recently Jameson rarely strayed from the classical guitar and predominantly performed traditional classical music. Now his time is mainly spent exploring new possibilities for the classical guitar as well as performing electric guitar in a improvisational and experimental context through groups such as the Perth iMprov Collective.
Currently, he is aiming to prepare new repertoire for performance and recording as well as continuing to regularly perform around Perth both as both a soloist and with various ensembles.