Comprising members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Jazz royalty, and some of Sydney’s most in-demand musicians, witness the music weaving and galloping through key areas as it is catapulted between the instrumental colours of the ensemble; with space for improvisation in, over and around the ever-changing treatment of thematic material.
“Atmospheric with husky trumpet and dreamy piano” – Limelight Magazine
“Arresting, genre-blurring… Disquieting music with massive breadth and high drama.” – Sydney Morning Herald
“Full of sonic textures and infinite possibility, this is one of the true concept albums of recent years.” – Jazz and Beyond
“A certain sonic luminescence…highly evocative and adventurous.” – The Music Trust
Ephemera: a musical exploration of celestial landscapes such as pulsars, craters, planetary atmospheres, stars, sun, and void. Merging the sound worlds of jazz and contemporary classical, and set to real space sounds projections, it is a unique experience. The ensemble is led by Keyna Wilkins (piano/flute/compositions) with Elsen Price (double bass/loop pedal) and Will Gilbert (trumpet) and includes freely improvised pieces to space sounds, compiled by astronomer Paul Francis, and is accompanied by beautiful NASA space projections.
Drummer, Conductor, and Composer Jason Isaac unite 11 standout musicians to share what emerges when Mahler, Brahms, Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Debussy find their way into large-scale works written for rhythm section, saxophones, and brass quintet.
“The beginnings of this suite of music formed during a period when I was given the opportunity of conducting professional orchestras in Australia and New Zealand as part of the Symphony Services International Conductor Development Program. I spent 4 years studying the masterworks of symphonic literature and was amazed by how these composers are able to create music of such intensity and weight, yet present their ideas logically and develop them organically. I wanted to explore the depth of how a composer like Brahms can extract an entire Sonata from movement out of the distance between 2 notes or the virtuosic way that Mahler manipulates one idea after another and connects them into such a compelling narrative. Great improvisers do this in solos – I wanted to try to extend this into the broader architecture of the pieces; to include the solos; then to develop material even further in the way that a Symphony or Suite would.”
“My professional background as a drummer, conductor, (and in a past life, a French Horn player) is the catalyst for this particular ensemble’s formation – essentially a brass quintet, rhythm section (piano, bass, drums), and 3 saxophones. These three instrumental groups afford me the opportunity to write orchestral string-like textures (in the piano and saxophones), orchestrate like a big band at times, illicit virtuosic playing from the brass instruments), and give beautiful melodic sections to the horn. The 8-movement suite introduces improvisation to symphonic forms, textural, horizontal harmonic movement to big band writing, and polyrhythmic, multimetric trickery for all; through a familiar but unique instrumental palette.”
Ephemera Trio – 8:30 pm, Tundra Ensemble – 9:30 pm