Speechless features some of Australia’s most versatile artists, including four soloists, several community choirs, and the Australian Bass Orchestra.
COMPOSER & DIRECTOR
Director and Composer Cat Hope is a composer, sound artist, performer, songwriter and noise artist. She is a classically trained flautist, self-taught vocalist, experimental bassist and is the director of Decibel new music ensemble. She won the Award for Excellence in Experimental Music at the APRA AMC Art Awards In 2011 and 2014, and the People’s Choice award for her organ concerto ‘Black Emperor’ in the International Space Time Concerto competition in 2011. She is a Churchill and Civitella Ranieri Fellow, and has been in pop bands (Gata Negra, Quartered Shadows, Mice Vice), noise groups (Abe Sada, Candied Limbs, HzHzHz) as well as new music and orchestral groups. She has directed dance/music collaborations (the Velvet Palace, 1999) and curated new music programs. Cat is currently Professor and head of school at the Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music at Monash University.
Judith Dodsworth has come to be regarded as one of Australia’s finest interpreters of contemporary vocal repertoire. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian National Academy Of Music she has a Masters degree in performance from the University Of Melbourne and has studied in Vienna and London, including with legendary new music soprano Jane Manning.
Indonesian born Karina Utomo is the vocalist for Australian metal band High Tension, with members Matt Weston (The Nation Blue), Lauren Hammel (Tropical F* Storm) and Mike Deslandes (YLVA). High Tension’s critically acclaimed releases have been nominated for ARIA and AIR awards for ‘Best Heavy Album’ and received The Age Music Victoria award. High Tension has toured with Refused, Sick Of It All, The Bronx and performed at Laneway, Splendour in the Grass, Download and Dark Mofo festivals. Utomo is a regular fill-in host on Triple J’s metal program ‘The Racket’ and hosts a regular monthly segment.
Sage Pbbbt’s singing practice takes inspiration from Tuvan singing, Inuit throat singing, sound poetry and her ongoing exploration of extra-normal vocal techniques. She also draws on industrial musick, trance, and drone; insight meditation practice, urban/industrial shamanism and chaos magick; feminist, queer and trans praxis; and Discordianism. She has performed both as a soloist and in various bands and collaborations for over 17 years in Australia and the UK and has presented conference papers in Glasgow, London and Melbourne.
Tara Tiba is one of Australia’s most distinctive and significant musical voices. Born in Iran and based in Perth, Western Australia, Tara has been acclaimed as an expatriate trailblazer for her extraordinary voice and repertoire that fuses traditional Persian singing with Western Jazz, Latin, Flamenco, Fado, New World folk and experimental contemporary music. Tara released her debut album, A Persian Dream, in 2012. Tara has toured extensively internationally and performed at the 2016 Perth Festival opening event, Home.
The Australian Bass Orchestra
The Australian Bass Orchestra, featured in the opera, are a group that come together to play music where the range never goes above middle C. Membership is open to any instrument, as long as it has the capacity to play in this range. Cat Hope formed the group in 2014 and since then it has played at the Now Now Festival in Sydney and at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. Specialising in graphic and text scores enables members of the orchestra to come from any kind of music genre. Using the Australian Bass Orchestra in this work provides a visceral, physical experience of the sound, a characteristic of low frequency sound.
Strings Tristen Parr
Brass & Woodwind Lindsay Vickery
Percussion Tina Havelock Stevens
Electronics Stuart James
Cat by Cat Gomersall | Judith by Jason Reekie | Karina by Tracey Lee Hayes | Sage by Cicely Binford