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