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What's On

Scream Star

Speak Percussion

World Premiere
Presented by Arts House and Speak Percussion

Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 August, 2022  
Thu – Sat, 7.30pm 
Sun, 5pm 

Duration
90 mins with a 20 min interval

Tickets
Pay if you can $35
Standard $20 
BLAKTIX $10 
A small transaction fee will be charged per order.

Warnings
Smoke effects, haze, flashing lights, low lighting, abrupt lighting change, lights black out, lights change colours and intensity.

Arts House
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne

Assistive Listening
Assistance Animal
Wheelchair Accessible
Companion Card

Three daring collisions of sound and screen, mashed-up projection and percussion.

Speak Percussion commissions three wunderkind composers to fuse screen and sound, projection and percussion, rhythm and light into a remarkable live performance event. 

From canned laughter to green screens, foley artists to house bands, this trio of unexpected works digs deep into the visual unconscious shared by anyone raised on a diet of TV and film. 

Matthew Shlomowitz plays with the notion of the live audience and onstage talent, by taking televised crowd reactions, giving them entirely new context and questioning the professional/amateur divide.

Johannes Kreidler exploits the green screen to distinctly animate and dislocate the performative gesture, in which space and time are split apart and reassembled in head-spinning ways. 

Jessie Marino draws on a dazzling number of screens, blinds, lights and haze to produce a kaleidoscopic riot of light and sound. 

Playful and wildly imaginative, full of drama and delirium, Scream Star is proof that Speak Percussion sits at the leading edge of sonic experimentation in Australia today. 


“virtuosic and adventurous” New York Times

“Speak Percussion has contributed new 21st century masterworks to the global percussion repertoire.” Australian Arts Review

“breathtakingly impressive” The West Australian

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Artist Statement

Speak Percussion has curated three world-renowned composers into a daring new music performance project interrogating the relationship between the screen and stage. Brought together for their unique compositional voices and strong track record of integrating screen-based media in live performance, Scream Star marks the first collaboration between one of Australia’s leading lights in experimental and contemporary classical music, Speak Percussion, with Johannes Kreidler, Jessie Marino and Matthew Shlomowitz.

Performers on screen and archival footage clashes with a live percussion performance in a series of screen-performance works by prominent internationally lauded composers, video artists and filmmakers, drawing inspiration from archival Australian TV, lo-fi video techniques, concert etiquette, shadow puppetry and foley artistry.
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About the Company

Speak Percussion has shaped the sound of 21st century Australian percussion music through the creation and presentation of ambitious arts projects. Internationally recognised as a leader in the fields of experimental and contemporary classical music, Speak is constantly seeking to redefine the potential of percussion by engaging in world-class, risk-taking and innovative projects with the world’s leading exponents of experimental and new music. Speak has commissioned and premiered over 130 percussion works.

Speak Percussion has five times been awarded an AMC/APRA Art Music Award, most recently taking the 2021 Luminary Award, National Organisation for visionary leadership and sustained contribution to Australian art music and the 2019 Performance of the Year.
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About the Artists

Matthew Shlomowitz is a London based composer who was raised in Adelaide, Australia. In recent years he has written Glücklich, Glücklich, Freude, Freude for keyboardist Mark Knoop and the SWR Symphonieorchester (for 2019 Donaueschinger Musiktage), and Graveyard Slot (with guest appearance) for Ensemble Nikel. In 2017, his opera Electric Dreams was produced by Kunstuniversität Graz in cooperation with ORF Musikprotokoll, as winner of the Johann Joseph Fux Opera Composition. The Norwegian Ensemble asamasimasa released a CD of his works on the all that dust label. Matthew has a number of compositional projects. Letter Pieces are open score works combining physical action and music. The pieces in his Popular Contexts series combine recognisable recordings with instrumental music. He has made a number of performance-lecture works addressing aesthetic issues, such as Lecture About Bad Music. In 2020 he started on a new series titled Explorations in Polytonality and other Musical Wonders; the first volume is a set of piano pieces for Mark Knoop (released on Bandcamp), and the second is for the Apsara recorder trio.

Matthew teaches at University of Southampton, co-directs the new music group Plus Minus, and runs a podcast called Soundmaking with Håkon Stene. He has taught on the Tzlil Meudcan Summer Course, Ensemble Offspring Hatched Academy and Luxembourg Composition Academy, and has written articles, such as "The Automaton Approach" (MusikTexte) and "Where Are We Now?" (Tempo)

Johannes Kreidler is a German composer, performer, conceptual and media artist. He is the principal theorist and exponent of the New Conceptualism movement in 21st-century music. Kreidler came to prominence with a series of politically charged pieces of musical performance art, beginning with 2008’s product placements: a 33-second recording containing 70,200 samples of other recordings, which the composer then attempted to register individually with the German copy- right authorities. Kreidler studied from 2000 to 2006 at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany where teachers included Mathias Spahlinger (composition), Orm Finnendahl (electronic music), and Eckehard Kiem (music theory). During this time he was also a Fellow of the European Union from 2004 to 2005 and a visiting student at the Institute of Sonology at the Koninklijk Conservatorium at The Hague in the Netherlands. He also attended seminars in philosophy and art history at the University of Freiburg. Since 2019, he is professor for composition at the Hochschule fuer Musik Basel/ Switzerland. Johannes Kreidler lives in Berlin. His work is described as conceptual music and usually employs multimedial elements.

Jessie Marino is a composer, performer, and media artist living and working in Berlin and currently Professor of Experimental Performance Practice, Stuttgart. Her work explores the repetition inside common activities, ritualistic absurdities, and uncovering nostalgic technologies. Jessie’s pieces score out sound, video, physical movements, lighting, and staging, which are then placed within organized temporal structures, fractured narratives and musical frameworks. Much of Marino’s interdisciplinary compositional work eschews conventional instrumentation, with scores that ask performers to use their bodies— using precisely articulated gestures, facial expressions, and quotidian physical movements both as an alternative and a complement to musical sounds. Her work maps out the way humans communicate with their bodies on a performative timeframe, revealing the musicality hidden within everyday gesticulations, signs, and demonstrations, transmitted both consciously and unconsciously. Marino finds humor and profundity in personal interactions and the way humans navigate physical space—an improvisational act that can invoke a ballet, a dinner party or a demolition derby. Her compositions and solo performances abstract ideas drawn from all stripes of popular culture and political discourse, girded by a definitively humanistic sensibility rife with equal doses of wit and pathos. Marino’s work employs video, lighting, performance art, and comedy, but it is rigorously constructed using musical time, even when a piece is utterly silent. She transcends the conventional materials of composition to help audiences locate music in the most commonplace activities and relations.
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Credits

Artistic Director / Percussion: Eugene Ughetti
Assistant Artistic Director/ Percussion: Kaylie Melville
Percussion: Hamish Upton
Composer: Jessie Marino
Composer: Matthew Shlomowitz
Composer: Johannes Kreidler
Production Manager: Govin Ruben
Hey Hey It's Tuesday Film Maker: Laura Spark
Lighting Designer: Bronwyn Pringle
Sound Designer/Engineer: Alistair McLean
Technical Assistant: Jonathan Griffiths
Executive Producer: Ashley Dyer

Supported by
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; and the City of Melbourne through Arts House.

Image Credit: Theresa Harrison

Image Description: Both the background and the golden bars of the marimba are radiated by a beautiful pinkish magenta.  Three musicians stand behind an instrument: on the left, a white man with a silver wave of hair and finely shaped goatee; in the middle a white man with a dark brown waft of hair, a less perfect goatee and black circular rimmed glasses; and on the left a white long brown haired woman with dangling circular earrings.  All three stare transfixed at three fluorescent ping pong balls either descending or ascending, above the instrument below.  They each wear clothes for a party or a talent contest: the man on the left sports a confetti golden jacket; the woman on the right a shiny golden sleeveless dress.  Together they flank the man wearing a jade regal green formal jacket.

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