Disco Conversion Therapy premiered at the RCC Club, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020. Awarded where the show was awarded
The Melbourne Fringe Tour Ready Award, presented by Melbourne Fringe
Current performances are on hold due to Covid-19.
Our Back Catalogue of performances from our Common Eclectic Series in Glebe Town Hall.
in association with the Goethe Institut
“When, in the year 1913, in my desperate attempt to free art from the ballast of objectivity, I took refuge in the square form and exhibited a picture which consisted of nothing more than a black square on a white field. The critics and, along with them, the public sighed, Everything which we loved was lost. We are in a desert … Before us is nothing but a black square on a white background! But the desert is filled with the spirit of non-objective feeling.” — Kazimir Malevich
Anyone who endeavors to free music from the weight of things inevitably lands at Dub—the analog mother of all minimalist pop species. The studio as a black cube, which devours all that is dispensable or banal. Rhythm and sound are more important than melodies. And repetition reveals itself as a form of change—if only because the focus gravitates to the small yet important details.
Under this premise, the Berlin-based trio Automat has now recorded an exceptional album. Denser and yet even more unflinching than the debut they released one year ago, PLUSMINUS recalls the mysterious monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001”. There’s nothing here that one could hold onto, and yet so much of it that the listener is transported into a kind of trance.
While its predecessor was still characterized by prominent guest vocalists like Lydia Lunch, Blixa Bargeld and Genesis P-Orridge, here it is the studio that speaks. It is the 1950s analog technology of Candy Bomber Studios in Berlin-Tempelhof. Automat recorded all the tracks on the album within three days in January. Without much rehearsal, the first take was finalÑlimitation as strength.
Almost all the tracks on the album are named after the sonic devices and effects units that were the focus during production: “EMT 140” is a two meter long reverb plate, “H 910” is a harmonizer that defined the sound of David Bowie’s “Low”. The Automat musician Zeitblom had been searching for this unit for ten years. His perseverance paid off.
The thunderous bass lines, delirious rhythms and hypnotic sounds of PLUSMINUS make the notion of categories and genres seem superfluous. Of course, we are not dealing with classic dub reggae here. And the Detroit Techno of musicians such as Terrence Dixon is another story. Yet oscillating between these poles is a music that even draws from jazz and other genres without compromising its autonomy.
One can follow this development on the preceding productions, a split single with Schneider TM and an EP with Max Loderbauer. But with PLUSMINUS, Automat has succeeded in creating their interim masterpiece.
Automat is: Arbeit – Färber – Zeitblom
Saturday 7 February – High Tea – Mapletrail and Phia – (double bill)
Sunday 22 March – Hinterlandt Ensemble & special guest
Sunday 19 April – Mic Conway and Robbie Long
Saturday 16 May – David Bridie & Fred Smith (double bill)
Sunday 21 June – A Body of Water & Clocks and Clouds (double bill)
Sunday 19 July – Spyglass Gypsies
Sunday 16 August – Operasmith & Co. presents Facade An Entertainment with Silvia Colloca & Simon Lobelson and the Sirius Chamber Ensemble
Sunday 20 September – Tangalo
Sunday 18 October – Crooked Fiddle Band
Sunday 15 November – Automat (Germany) supported band Hinterlandt
High Tea with Aidan Roberts and PHIA (double bill)
The Maple Trail is the project of multi-instrumentalist Aidan Roberts (Belles Will Ring, Lanie Lane, Tubular Bells For Two). Having spent time writing in Europe and Britain in 2013 and 2014, Roberts has gathered a new collection of songs to follow 2012’s acclaimed album ‘Cable Mount Warning’. Now recording his fourth album for Broken Stone Records, Roberts’ new music travels from his roots in traditional English and Scottish folk, skewed Americana and resting in his own distinct vocal and guitar storyscapes. These are the latest tales of winter and summer, light and dark, love and loss, tigers and Tasmania.
Joining The Maple Trail is Berlin-based Phia – hailed by the European press as “one of Australia’s most underrated musical exports”. Classically-trained Phia creates “hypnotic, joyful and definitely danceable” pop music using nothing but an African Kalimba, her voice and a loop pedal.
Phia and her producer/guitarist Josh Teicher are close to completing the recording of her debut album this year, in-between touring and playing festivals, and we’re delighted to host her on a brief stopover in Australia.
Hinterlandt Ensemble plus Daniel Weltlinger & DJ Morphingaz ( double bill)
Following many releases and international touring as a semi-electronic solo project, Hinterlandt has just entered into a new phase: The Hinterlandt Ensemble features Bronwyn Cumbo and Stephanie Zarka on violins, Simeon Johnson on cello, and Jochen Gutsch on acoustic guitar and trumpet.
The ensemble performs original instrumental material composed by Jochen, brought to life by the players with their individual artistic personalities. Stylistically, this new set combines chamber-style compositions with guided improvisation and an experimental edge, all played in a coherent acoustic sound aesthetic. www.hinterlandt.org
Mic Conway and Robbie Long
Sunday 19 April, 2015
In a circus of comedy, music and magic, Mic Conway and flat-picking guitar champion Robbie Long present a hilarious array of idiosyncratic songs that will make your jaw drop, toes tap and sides split. Audiences who know Mic from his days with “Captain Matchvbox Whoopee Band” and Circus Oz will be delighted by this incarnation: Mic as storyteller of tall tales and true. There are new songs and some oldies close to Conway’s heart. He croons “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and a heart-breaking version of “Mad World”, dispenses good advice in “Never Bite a Married Woman on the Thigh” and revisits Captain Matchbox classic “My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes” and Tom Lehrer’s “Masochism Tango”. There’s magic, juggling, cavorting and that trademark tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. Stripped back, irreverent, and shameless… it’s surreal vaudeville for crooning and swooning.
David Bridie + Fred Smith (double bill)
Saturday 16 May, 2015
An intimate afternoon with the sensational David Bridie. Audiences know Bridie from “My Friend The Chocolate Cake” and “Not Drowning, Waving” as well as his acclaimed solo albums and soundtracks for film. A voice of conviction, passion and integrity, this is Bridie up close and personal, performing solo with piano. Stories and song. The stunning surrounds of the Glebe Town Hall is the perfect setting for this very special show featuring songs from his recent albums “Wake” and “Take The Next Illusionary Exit”. Not to be missed!
“The Centre Cannot Hold” : http://youtu.be/i3PTKEoYwhA
“Flatlands” : http://youtu.be/7mYT1Zayq8U?t=7s
“Dr Seuss is Painting in the Sky” : http://youtu.be/VM_t9FrU8Ww
FRED SMITH :
Over the last 10 years Fred Smith has emerged as one of Australia’s most remarkable artists. Songwriter, comedian, journalist and radio broadcaster, he is the subject of an “Australian Story” documentary about his work through music in Afghanistan and conflict zones in the South Pacific. Fred presents his material with an engaging humour and a wry smile that has won hearts at festivals in Australia and North America. He will be playing songs from his back catalogue and his new album “Home”, the follow up to his acclaimed 2011 release, “Dust of Uruzgan”, which earned him comparisons to Australian songwriting greats Eric Bogle, John Schumann, and Don Walker.
A Body of Water and Clocks and Clouds (double bill)
Sunday 21 June
A combined performance by Clocks and Clouds (Kraig Grady and Terumi Narushima) and A Body of Water (singer Karen Cummings and Stephen Adams).
A Body of Water is a contemporary song project combining re-workings of other people’s material and new works, using a mix of pre-determined and improvised approaches. Karen is the primary singer, with me using flute, voice, mandolin, piano, radios and iPod with FM transmitter etc.
Clocks and Clouds is an ensemble that centres on the duo of Kraig Grady and Terumi Narushima. Playing on an ensemble of instruments built for their sculptural as well as musical expression, they perform original works only possible on these precisely-tuned instruments. These include: the Meta-slendro Metallophone, a set of 12 towering bass instruments called the Meru Bars, an instrument called Tree II which has two branches of suspended metal bars that rotate when struck, and a retuned and redesigned Meta-slendro Harmonium powered by foot-activated bellows.
Sunday 19 July 2015
Energetic, brilliant and playful, Spyglass Gypsies present a modern take on the traditional gypsy jazz style. Combining French gypsy songs with swinging originals the ensemble brings the bygone days of bohemian Paris into the present day with the lyrical sounds of the accordion, clarinet and the percussive ‘la pompe’ of gypsy guitars.
Spyglass Gypsies successfully launched their debut self-titled album of original music to a full house in February this year, and as 2014 Australian Arts Council touring grant recipients they are set to bring their music to all corners of the country. Established in 2010 by Ashby and Palmeiro, the group formed through studying and performing together in various jazz projects. They have appeared at numerous notable venues and festivals including a recent headlining performance at the Oz Manouche Gypsy Jazz Festival (Brisbane). Along with supporting performances for international stars including Dutch guitar virtuoso Lollo Meier and UK guitarist Remi Harris, Spyglass Gypsies have established themselves as one of the leading ensembles in Australasian Gypsy Jazz.
Operasmith & Co. Facade an Entertainment with Silvia Colloca & Simon Lobelson and the Sirius Chamber Ensemble
Sunday 16 August, 2015 – performance finished
Alternating between melancholy, gaiety, listlessness, whimsy, child-like wonder, intrigue and passion, ‘Facade’ is a boundlessly imaginative interplay of words and music.
In the 1920’s, William Walton and Edith Sitwell’s musical miniatures caused an outrage when performed with their scandalous mix of musical styles and absurdist prose. The cryptic words spoken through a megaphone by Sitwell herself, hidden behind a screen, together with Walton’s jazz-inspired music featuring the dance rhythms of tango, foxtrot, tarantella and waltz through to the modern sounds of Satie and Stravinsky caused a sensation. Grouped together as ‘Facade’ and increasing in popularity over time, these eccentric musical vignettes are now celebrated for capturing the wit, frivolity and spirit of the 1920’s more authentically than any other work.
Facade has had many incarnations, as a ballet, as orchestral suites, songs and poetry. This performance at Glebe Town Hall will present William Walton’s definitive collection – “Facade: An Entertainment” all twenty-one settings of Edith Sitwell’s poems published in 1951 together with “Facade 2: A Further Entertainment” compiled for the Aldeburgh Festival in 1979. Three beautiful piano settings composed by Walton in 1932 to Sitwell’s poetry will also be included as part of the performance.
Reciters: Silvia Colloca & Simon Lobelson
Conductor: Luke Spicer
Directors: Matthew Barclay and Johanna Puglisi
Lighting Designer: Colin Alexander
Orchestra: Sirius Chamber Ensemble
Instrumentalists (7): Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, Cello, Flute/Piccolo, Clarinet / Bass Clarinet, Percussion, Piano
Duration: 70min (approx)
Music: William Walton (1902-1983)
Texts: Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)
Sunday 21 September 2015
“Chamber music on steroids – 4 ½ out of 5 stars.” John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald, 2015.
“Sassy, talented, and oh so hot right now” – Made in Argentina Festival, 2013
Australia’s premiere tango quintet, Tángalo, have continued to delight both Australian and International audiences with their signature blend of Golden-era and modern tango music. The mix of sultry voices, with the combined forces of flute, guitar, double bass, violin, piano and the gritty and awesome power of the enigmatic Argentine ‘Bandoneon’, make Tángalo’s sound both instantly recognisable and unlike anything else on the Australian music scene.
Travelling to Argentina in 2014, as recipients of a JUMP Mentorship from the Australia Council for the Arts, Tángalo formed a creative partnership with the Latin-grammy nominated ‘Duo Ramirez-Satorre’. Touring together as a 7 piece orchestra in early 2015, the group performed more than 20 concerts to enthralled audiences on Australia’s East coast, including sold-out shows in 3 capital cities.
Formed in 2011 by Emily-Rose Šarkova and Owen Salomé, Tángalo grew from a desire to create a greater awareness of tango culture in Australia, and the fierce desire to see more tango-dancing to live tango-music. The group has performed in numerous Australian festivals including 2013 Made in Argentina Festival, Buenos Aires in the Southern Highlands, Tango in the Spring and at the 2012, 2013 & 2014 National Folk Festivals.
The Crooked Fiddle Band plus strings
Sunday 18 October – Doors from 4.30 for 5pm performance – BOOK NOW
Intertwining folk traditions with modern evolutions, this fiery acoustic four-piece has been described by Brian Eno as “completely surprising: the music is original and quixotic…I can’t say I’ve ever heard anything else like it!” Driven by the beautiful and furious fiddling of Jess Randall, and underpinned by a rhythm section featuring Gordon Wallace (bouzouki, acoustic guitar, and vocals), Mark Stevens (double bass, charango) and Joe Gould (drum kit, hand percussion, vocals), this Sydney-based ensemble combine their talents to create a joyous frenzy. The Crooked Fiddle Band have wowed festival audiences from Sweden to Hobart, Helsinki to the Sunshine Coast with their immersive and dynamic live shows. Witness a new dimension to their sound as they expand their core line-up to a mini-orchestra, taking the band’s cinematic sound to new fantastical landscapes, seascapes and the occasional medieval battle scene.
VIDEO “Rain in the Morning” : http://youtu.be/yIlq7dVgTF4?t=40s
VIDEO : http://youtu.be/unLxxUh67jg
Thank you to the City of Sydney for sponsoring this program