Monash Art Ensemble (Australian Art Orchestra & Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music)
THIS comprehensive album consists of two complete works composed and conducted by Paul Grabowsky: a 10-part suite of Variations, based on a theme by Marin Marais (16561728) and Tall Tales, a piece in three movements.
A melody by gamba virtuoso Marais, D’un Gout Etranger (In a Strange Style), often described as a culmination in French baroque chamber music, has been brilliantly reworked in contemporary form by Grabowsky. Over an introductory wash of Mitch Mollison’s electronics, Eugene Ball’s trumpet, then James Macaulay’s trombone announce the theme.
Eight extraordinary variations follow, incorporating elements of free jazz, contemporary improvisation, innovative voicings and musical genius. Each of these is inspired by a musical great, from Ennio Morricone to John Coltrane and JS Bach. Amazingly most of the solos are pre-written and all of the variations have an advanced, impressionistic 21st-century, sometimes dissonant, exploratory sound.
The second work, Tall Tales, is in three types of musical languages, the first, Ngukurr, Mon Amour, being inspired by manikay song forms of the Yolngu people. This piece alternates bursts of energy with quieter periods, featuring the dazzling work of Erkki Veltheim on five-string electric violin and the outstanding piano of Joe O’Connor. The second part evokes the complex harmonics of Arnold Schoenberg with a marvellous alto solo from Lachlan Davidson, completely notated, and one totally improvised by Scott Tinkler’s ceaselessly inventive trumpet.
The final track, Wacky, Zany, Madcap is a 10-minute wild ride with various solos, notably by Tony Hicks on tenor.
Rating: 5 stars
To purchase the CD from the Jazzhead Records website please refer to http://jazzheadrecords.bandcamp.com/album/monash-art-ensemble
Open letter from Australian academics to PM: Closure of Manus Island and Nauru
An open letter calling for the immediate closure of Manus Island and Nauru offshore immigration…
Monash graduate receives Gates Cambridge Scholarship
Recent Arts graduate, Emma Nicholls has been awarded with prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship. These highly…
Two decades on, what remains of Kurt Cobain?
By Catherine Strong A few years ago a student of mine turned up to class…
Graduate Tourism Program students participate in ITB Berlin
Students in the Master of Tourism and Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management programs recently…
Youth unemployment on the agenda in Washington
Australian youth unemployment will be a Monash University student’s focus at the Spring Meetings of…
Monash University Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing
Monash University in conjunction with the Emerging Writers’ Festival is pleased to present the Monash…
Composing for the Australian screen
A public lecture by renowned Australian composer Mary Finsterer followed by a screening of the…
Tony Abbott’s ‘Reform’ of ICA – if it’s not broken why fix it?
By Marian Quartly In late December 2013 Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the formation of…
What is academic history for?
By Paula Michaels Writing on Saturday in The Age, popular historian Paul Ham launched a frontal…
Taking a stand on human dignity
Our NGO partner, the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) is currently featuring a series of…
Recent migrants content with Australian way of life
Most Australians support multiculturalism and recent migrants are positive about life here, despite occasional pockets…
New Melbourne Jewish history anthology published
Melbourne’s rich Jewish history shines in a new anthology from the Monash University Australian Centre for…