28 January 2013

Here and there

SCUNA called this concert Here, there and back again. Although I had forgotten the name at the time of the concert, I felt this movement. Firstly, the music was mediaeval accompanied by lute and harmonium and recorders. This speaks to me of belief and piety and great cathedrals but add percussion and classic 1 2+ or 1 2+3 rhythms and it’s more bawdy dens and rollicking wenches. Then I noticed a drone and more recent harmony (an understandable challenge to the choir) and touches of English that I recognised, speaking of sleep and love. This was obviously modern but still had resonances of deep choral history. The two feel returned with a dancable gait. Then more from the past and a return to the present singing “break my heart again … trying to pretend” and an end with gospel and blues: Swing low sweet chariot with a classic black male call, a blues lament and an odd but amusing disjunct of barbershop. It was a short concert or twleve short pieces and with no chatter with the audience. I would have liked to hear just what it was we were listening to. It’s common for choirs to have a historical bent, and SCUNA certainly displayed one here. Even the modern tunes had a relationship to the past despite more modern harmonies or lyrics. But it’s obvious the group enjoys its outings, and they are a decent choir singing a range of musics. I particularly enjoyed renewing a love of male voices when one tune featured a passage reminding me of chant. I enjoyed the solo voices and the gospel calls and the mediaeval sound of recorders and drums. I could imagine boisterous swilling and dancing as in one or another Breughel. But barbershop is where it ended, and that’s much more of the present. So, this was a lovely Sunday interlude that happened to celebrate the weekend of Australia day. As I left I thought of identity, a recurring theme on this weekend. Give us something to identify ourselves in the sweep of history, as this concert did. Better a greater understanding, than some nationalist symbol of us and them. SCUNA performed at the High Court for the Musical Offerings series, with Andrew Koll (conductor), Anthony Smith (repetiteur, keyboard) and Steven Weller (percussion).

25 January 2013

Three gigs later

Three Bennett’s Lane gigs; three very different styles. Tal Cohen was hard swung, take no prisoners, energetic modern jazz. Lots of fast walks, lots of busy solos of impressive virtuosity.

I arrived just a little late but caught most of the first set and all the second. These must have been long takes, because I only noticed about 4 tunes per set. There were a few originals from Tal, presumably from his recent CD with Ari Hoenig. One was called Bird (in Hebrew) and was either traditional or a take on it, but was clearly Jewish music. It reminded me of Klezmer, but that’s just one style, that of the Ashkenazy Jews of Eastern Europe. This one still had that jaunty melodic sense and bouncing rhythms with dense polyrhythms. Mostly, though, this was swinging hard. Another was called Decision (again in Hebrew) and spoke of the moment of decision in any musician’s life when s/he decides for jazz rather than car sales or real estate (Tal’s humourous alternatives). This one was an odd composition of slow starts and changing styles that seemed to fit bouts of indecision. There were several covers, too. Take the Coltrane was an all-out blues bash. Tal did a piano solo on Body & soul that started with what seemed to be free improv then revealed the melody and finally changed to an extended two-chord improve to the end. The favourite of my night was a lovely rendition of the Nearness of you. It’s a wonderful tune and it stayed in my head and I listened to Sinatra and Sarah Vaughn and several other YouTube takes after returning to our unit. The rhythm section here was appropriately reserved. Julien was an emotional powerhouse, sometimes blaring notes with passion, other times splintering the melody with screeds of notes, always harmonically crystal clear. Tal was similarly bountiful, but of course he can’t bleat and scream and cajole like a horn. One line was so extended that I noticed Julien glancing with a grin. Other lines had delightful blues touches and some were classically perfect twisted phrases, although I missed some connections to changes. Tal was obviously enjoying the night and Julien was a stunning partner. So was Nick Abbey, over from WA and a bass teacher seat at UWA. For the first set I heard strong, young fingers giving powerful tone and punchy walks. But he also took several solos in the second set. As one was passed from Tal, I wondered how bass could follow the exuberant piano, only to admire the way he slowed the action, took control and rebuilt to a powerful bass solo with strong rhythmic sense and nice play with octaves and pitch. He played several other solos and I admired them all. Calm, even steely, Nick is a wonderfully competent sideman. Jacob was also over from WA, all eyes and ears for Tal and fast and easy on solos. Tal Cohen (piano) led a hard swinging quartet at Bennett’s Lane with Julien Wilson (tenor), Nick Abbey (bass) and Jacob Evans (drums).

23 January 2013

Touching Heaven

It felt like a flight of angels passing by. The closest thing to Heaven. This was the Allan Browne, Tamara Murphy, Andrea Keller Trio playing in the dim light of Bennett’s Lane. It was a Monday night, which seems to be an evening allocated to Allan for his gatherings. He’s a long term name. I mentioned hearing his name in the ‘70s from Adelaide and he corrected me to the ‘60s. Then he was telling a visiting Canadian saxist that he’d played at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and it was big, everyone was there, Miles… I think of Art Blakey and Paul Motion, serious and respected, who gathered such important musicians around them.

This is a trio formed out of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival four years back. There’s a air of caring here and Allan mentioned it. The music is gentle, the volume is low - mostly - and the listening is obvious. Andrea’s tone is a thing of Heaven, the lightest touch that speaks of her attachment and love of playing. It’s obvious as she sits, bent over the keys, smiling. This is intimate; you feel privileged to be allowed into this space. Tamara, too. It’s a heavier instrument and her strings are not light. As bassists interminably do, we discussed strings and setups (Tamara, excuse me). She obviously works to get the sounds from her bass. It’s quite a hard sound, with short sustain, played expressively and very melodically. She grimaces with some notes. She often sings with phrases. It’s a recommendation made to many players, to sing with solos to avoid muscle memory and clichés. Tamara is not faking. This is clearly real. And the old man of the set is the host and raconteur, introducing with wit and affection. His playing is also of the lightest touch, switching through mallets and sticks (not sure if I remember brushes), but can also be explosive, louder, just once I noticed it drowning out the rest, but always responsive as the wise and experienced can be.

Their music was mainly original. Tamara’s Lullaby at the end was a clear favourite of the audience and a feature for the band, but there were a string of others, like Tamara’s Travellers or Andrea’s That day or Allan’s Cyclosporine. They all wrote. They played Monk’s Hackensack and I think it was an another Andrea original that had clear strains of Monk. They played Fats Waller’s most perfect jazz tune, Jitterbug waltz. They had started with Henry Mancini’s Days of wine and roses. From the top, this was softly spoken and richly altered. The tune only became evident after perhaps a chorus of Andrea’s improvisation. Then even when the cycles were obvious, the phrasing remained displaced, sequenced, expansive over a patter of busy drums and the bass working the changes. This is classic piano trio stuff; the stuff of legend. Andrea said later that Bill Evans had a light touch. I checked Youtube. Bill’s touch was somewhat heavier than Andrea’s, but I felt in company like that. Invited to an intimate space by fluent but reflective hosts; entertaining but not entertainment. A gift. My theology is rusty, but I could imagine that’s what Heaven is, or is said to be. Allan Browne (drums), Tamara Murphy (bass) and Andrea Keller (piano) performed at Bennett’s Lane.

22 January 2013

Two women, two violins, two singers

Two women; two violins; two singers; a largish band formed by a very long-timer who I’d hardly heard before; a sunny afternoon concert in the park. It’s not the recipe for an avant-guard, but it can be entertaining. I tend to come at these event with some trepidation, but it’s what most people know as jazz. And given the company and the easy afternoon and the touch of modern music and the well-played standards, I got won over. This was Bob Sedergreen’s Stonnington Jazz Showband and they featured two female singer/violinists, Fem Belling and Heather Stewart.

They played two sets, each with a few numbers from the band and a few from each of the singers. Their theme tune was a short take on Chicago’s 25 or 6 to 4, and from these first exciting lines my ears perked up. Then Miles’ Nardis. Nardis was a bit lumpy and heavy, but this is a band that gets together, without rehearsal, three times a year for these gigs. So said Bob. The band’s later tunes included Herbie Hancock’s Butterfly and it was lovely: uncommonly heard and delicate and relaxed. Bob introduced his saxist as leader of the Army band at some stage. That’s a very good reference. I liked his playing: tonal and slightly austere and harmonically precise; just the right riffs played just right. Very nice. The guitar also struck me as neat and sometimes touching on abandon, and trom was bell-like and well intoned and clear in solistic intention. Same for Mal, I guess Bob’s brother, who initially sounded clarinet-like but laid out some nicely sinuous soprano later. Perhaps it was on Sonny Rollins’ Oleo. Again, well known but also loved by the modern set. Bob himself divulged into dissonance at times, but he seemed mostly concerned with arranging the band in real time, eyes always looking around, never on the keys. Bass was e-bass so loud and proud with plenty of straight-forward, high pitched melodic solos and then third woman on stage, Sonja, drummer, was strong and steady and a ready soloist. I liked her insistent and apt playing.

They were hardly performing for the cognoscenti, so the singers presently easily popular tunes, but they remained authentic and attractive for anyone who likes swing. Heather opened with What a little moonlight can do and a lovely cut-time oldie, After you’ve gone, with clarinet and trad-ethos. Fem’s first set was Ellington’s signature Take the A Train and Dizzy’s Night in Tunisia which was later stylistically and more excitable aurally. The second set was Fem with a very challenging calypso vocalisation and then Ellington’s easily swinging Do nothing till you hear from me. Then Heather with No moon at all and Them there eyes. Then a finale with two violins on Zawinul’s slow funk standard, Mercy mercy mercy, and an old throwaway blues, Swinging shepherd blues. How interesting was this, to see these two together. Both are wonderful singers, both are classically trained, but how different are they! Heather is a lower and fuller voice (alto, I guess) presenting melodies with simplicity and a gloriously apt ‘20’s/’30’s tone and interpretation. Fem is higher pitched soprano, more busy and embellished and improvisatory adventurous. So different, but both so good. Even their violins were different: Fem’s is a 5-string Yamaha electric (low C); Heather’s is standard 4-string acoustic.

So, a warm day in the sun, a big free concert for the locals, a decent repertoire that was mildly educative and touching on adventure. You couldn’t ask for more in such a circumstance. Nice one. The performers were Fem Belling (vocals, violin), Heather Stewart (vocals, violin) with the Stonnington Jazz Showband comprising Bob Sedergreen (keyboard), Dave Palmer (trombone, vocals), Mal Sedergreen (alto, soprano), David Gardner (tenor sax, clarinet), Myles White (guitar), Jon Chidgey (electric bass) and Sonja Horbelt (drums).

21 January 2013

Continuing the latin dream

Barney McAll’s album, Mother of dreams and secrets, is one of my favourites so I jumped at the opportunity to see him at Bennett’s Lane. We’re in Melbourne and I’m rather overwhelmed with the jazz choice on offer, despite some clubs being closed for January. Phroenesis is in town soon; will they make Canberra? That’s the sort of realisation I’m having. But what of Barney and his alter-ego Feral Junior? Feral is Barney's new puppet mate, amusingly but somewhat ominously introducing the early sets. It worked; it drew attention and entertained; I liked it; most people listen with their eyes, so why not? But Barney’s talking was mainly through his fingers and also his compositions.

This was his Non-Compliance Trio, sometimes enhanced with alto. It’s a return to a simpler format for Barney: the piano trio as a classic jazz combination. Despite the efficient format, Barney’s concepts of structure and composition were obvious and remain attractive. Plenty of piano expositions, slow feels with down-South blues-infused sensibility, sustained heavily syncopated ostinatos on bass or piano left hand, contradictory and sparse melody from right hand or bass and alto or some other combination, perhaps long and tortuous unison lines breaking the parts. They don’t always sit together with ease, but they communicate a personality and artistic sense that’s not too far from the Yoruba/Cuba of his Mother album. The compositions were mostly his, but he also played Chick Corea’s lyrical Tones for Jones’ bones and a supremely beautiful, theatrical piano solo medley of the standards The party’s over and Why didn’t I choose you, and a somewhat simple song by Rhiannon called Only girl (in the world) which worked well enough but felt somewhat out-of-place. I like jazzers testing newer popular songs, but the simple blues scale melody was not up to the richness of the rest of the night, even if played well. I’ve read recently about the simpler harmonies of pop from the ‘50s onwards not supporting jazz complexity and this has to be one example.

The playing of Barney and the band made this a worthy night. Barney with his full-handed technique was satisfying and big and colourful and dug in and homely. He dropped into left hand chords and right hand sax-like lines at times, but it was this big conception (and his compositions) that defined it for me. There were piano intros and generous head nodding to lead the band. Danny Fischer was right on top of it all. Perhaps he’d played with Barney in NYC and knew the tunes or maybe he just had a great memory (one syncopated snare line that got subsequently taken up as written sax melody convinced me) but he was ready to sit on nothing, then swell and be all over the solos. Great listening. And his own solos were open and expressive of melody and the tune. Wonderful. Bassist Frank Di Sario was impressive as he ran with the fast bop and soloed neatly and read up amongst the thumb positions, but the music was obviously new to him and he was having to work hard. Similarly David Rex, who sat in on alto for around four tunes, read some devilish syncopations but also dropped out occasionally. Syncopation is hard reading. I heard him early on as flamboyantly, perhaps excessively, fast and furious, but then a tune later in the night had him slower and more settled and melodically inventive with an intriguing dissonant and rhythmic contrariness and on listening further to his sprees of notes I found structure and melody, so nice.

This was a concert of return to home and family and friends and trio format, with his own tunes and some ring-ins, but always with his distinct broad-brushed colour and insinuating latin awareness. Contemporary jazz is all over the place and I remain staunchly catholic in welcoming it all, but the colourful latin-tinged earthiness of Feral Junior’s mate remains close to my Spanish heart. Barney McAll (piano, puppet) led his Non-Compliance Trio with Frank Di Sario (bass) and Danny Fischer (drums). David Rex (alto) sat in for a few tunes.

20 January 2013

No tightrope needed

Thanks to David Beech for the well lit pic

Yes, Virginia, Hippo was completely different. This was becoming a big night as I left Smith’s for Hippo and Sophia Christopher. Sophia was a student at the Jazz School and I didn’t know she’d gone off to the famed Berkelee Music School in Boston for further study where she’s been studying jazz vocals along with film score and song writing. I came into a very busy all-ages scene at Hippo. Noisier and friendlier than usual. Sophia had friends and family in, and I love a gig like this. Art only has purpose so far. As Wayne Shorter said, "If all you have is music, then you don't have music". And after the purity and idealised sound artistry of the experimental, we got fun and ecstasy and passion of sophisticated pop/funk. I think Sophia was singing her own material, and this was not particularly jazz-like. It was lively and danceable and make-out-worthy; at home in Hippo but also in a string of other locations. I was enjoying this. Sophia was far more outspoken, confident, ebullient than I remembered her. She told the story of young American girls with few singing skills but tons of personality getting into Berkelee and the guidance she’d got on just this. Music as work is more often entertainment than art. If you can combine the two, that’s even better. Sophia was doing this: skilful chops and lively presentation. She slowed for just one tune: a rendition a favourite, What is this thing called love, but slowing is relative. This was still outgoing and fast paced and Sophia was supple over the changes. It’s something I noticed from her, along with her range. She’s moving and bending melody and the resulting feel is fluid and malleable. The band was good, too. Solid and effective feels, Andrew on loose accompaniment, a very nifty guitar solo at the end that spoke of iconoclastic alt rather than jazz.

Yes, Virginia, different and all good. I enjoyed this, despite or maybe because of the volume. The night life is seduction and conviviality and Hippo is a mainstay in Canberra, and Sophia was there with her new-found confidence slamming the place. Outgoing and skilled, so the best of both worlds, but more importantly, plain fun. One little bit of the US streets returns to Canberra. Sophia Christopher led her band at Hippo. The Canberra pickups comprised Andrew Kimber (alto tenor), Matt Dixon (guitar), Ben Foster (piano), Alec Coulson (bass) and Sam McNair (drums).

19 January 2013

Jazz on a tightrope

I find any experimental or free jazz is music on a tightrope, so a night of four acts including French international Philippe Petite was going to be particularly so. Philippe was touring Australia with Shoeb Ahmad of helloSquare and he had been performing duo gigs with Shoeb on his highly effected guitar, but in the absence of turntables on loan in Canberra, they each performed solo.

Philippe’s show was a 50-minute DJ set and jazz tribute. This is the world of electronica and beats and dance. I’ve heard some on CD but the only DJs I’ve seen have been pretty inane selectors of tracks that they meagrely manipulate to flow one onto another, perhaps adjusting tempo or pitch. This was far more authentic and individual. Philippe stood there, in fairly deep dark, behind a laptop and with PA speaker to each side. The set started with hard edged tenor of the sixties, perhaps Joe Henderson and some Love supreme and other tracks recognised but not named. This was famed and much loved music of the cool and modern eras, the ‘50s and ‘60s, but visited as if from a distance. Echoed, sharply spun and snapped through other tunes. Not disrespectfully but certainly not as original. Or tenderly visited but distorted, electronicised, welcomed to a new century. Fascinating and respecting and historically respondent, perhaps knowledgeable, but of the contemporary. Stirred and shaken and clashed and distorted and a stunning blow to settled ears. I was loving the first part, feeling intrigued and refreshed. But then I felt it went too long. The jazz descended to smooth and simple harmonies and the distortions and manipulations seemed to become self-referential rather than respectful and interpretive. The audience thinned. It must have been hard to perform thus. This was a not a dance audience with its earthy, intuited involvement. This was a listening audience. I felt the music was increasingly viewed through a glass darkly. The jazz degenerated. Heavy house beats grew with more intense distortions and delays and occasional snap stops (were there part of the act or gear playing up?). It had me thinking of the complexity of acoustic sound. Did this suggest that electronica is essentially a poorer medium? Certainly I prefer real piano to e-piano, but I remain convinced that electronics have something different to offer. I thought of how I enjoyed the respect and excitement of the early part of the set. Then I realised how inert is a DJ presentation. Philippe himself was very involved, jogging and bobbing but he was the one moving feature on stage, lost behind and tied to the master laptop that controls us all. Eyes, too, lost to the screen. I walked around he back to see his screen. I don’t know what the software was. Several windows, a streaming image of the waveform, controlled with the touchpad, screen quite dark, I guess windows or dropdowns to select samples and processing effects. Interesting, I’d like to know more. I would have asked what software but I had Hippo and it was getting late. In the end, I reluctantly left during the set. I’d enjoyed and been enlivened by the first part of the set. The influences were worthy and the response respectful and the outcome modernising. But for me it went too long and decayed with poorer music choices and excessive processing. But while the time was right this was a fascinating and worthy re-vision of some very great music by a confident and professional performer. Glad I was there. Philippe Petite did a jazz DJ set at Smith's Bookshop.

18 January 2013

Not really jazz, but a tightrope

The locals do experimental, too. I’ve come to experimental music and free jazz through Richard and Shoeb and SoundOut and Smiths Bookshop and a few more connections. It’s not a popular form. It’s not even something I warmed to at first. I guess it’s got rules. It looks like it can be faked but the cognoscenti see through it. Skills make the difference and you can sometimes judge them. Some skills are just too far out of the mainstream for common recognition, like separated sax mouthpieces or playing underwater and the like. I can recognise bass technique, even if it’s unconventional, and also standard instruments played with trained technique. Similarly, I can recognise musical sensibility in the use of echo and processing and loops and electronica. It’s otherworldly but still human. And often, even without conscious recognition, but closing your eyes you can tell that something has structure or flow or harmony or tonality. This music is largely post-tonal so needs to be judged in its own context. So as I newcomer, I like to hear different approaches, different people, different skills and conceptualisations; to cover the waterfront. This night, at Smiths, before Philipe Petit, I heard three short sets and three groups: interesting and educational.

First up was Luke Pendeaux and Danny Wild. As I understand, Luke played sampler and sequencer (Roland SP404 and MC303) with Danny on laptop sequencer (Ableton live). This was rhythmic music an underlay of drone, heavy in repetition and minimal in change. Various samples were dredged up, edited and discombobulated, mixed with occasional voice that was similarly processed, the whole changing gently over time, with occasional squeals and whale calls and space ship launches and detunes and slow downs. I liked the slightly latin starting groove but wondered how we got to a shuffle swing at the end. I initially felt a sonata-like form in three parts - exposition, recapitulation - but then it seemed to continue to further parts. One thing that’s quite unique about this music is how it’s busily automated so leaving time for swig of a beer between thoughts. That’s civilised. When I go for a beer on stage, it’s usually an unholy intrusion.

Second was Shoeb Ahmad. He would have played duo with Philipe Petit but equipment availability intervened. His key instrument is the guitar, a telecaster with single pole twang, slow arpeggios, sustained chords. This is not a music of guitar virtuosity but of watery change. He uses a string of effects and a sampler. The twang undergoes watery change. But it overlays an unrelenting noise of notes without end. It’s overwhelming, threatening, other than human, throbbing. We felt lost, threatened, rolled by a tsunami of sound. Just breathing, throbbing with heartbeat regularity. But then human sounds like clap slicks, primitive, cicada sounds, and a final crescendo of sampler then strummed chords and silence. Unsettling music, dark despite the country twang.

Third was a trio of Andrew Fedorovich, Reuben Ingall and John Wilton. Their presentation was earthy, animal. These were calls in the wild from sax mouthpiece. Rugged slaps and windblown shudders, echoing and grooving like ants and bats in the night. Then decay, an electronic drop in pitch, like a plane falling or a perhaps a crow circling, aware, calm, observant. Then night nocturnal creatures, mystery and unknowingness, Sustained twisted, bent animal tone from sax and splashed of malletted cymbals to replace the regularity of mallets on skin. Then suddenly violence leading to slow decay and some relief. Here again I noticed the automation, laptop wielding Reuben able to take a swig while sax and drums were immediate, in the moment, living as in humanity.

How else to describe this music? I close my eyes and more than other musics, its soundscape expands and its logic appears. Its direct and unconventional and even uncivilised, and that can be good in art. Whatever, I’ll be hearing more, especially with the fourth SoundOut Festival of this music coming up in just a few weeks’ time. The performers were was Luke Pendeaux (sequencer, sampler) and Danny Wild (sequencer); Shoeb Ahmad (guitar, effects, sampler); Andrew Fedorovich (alto sax), Reuben Ingall (laptop) and John Wilton (drums). The location was Smith’s Alternative Bookstore.

15 January 2013

Sirens or mothers

Cyrenes is a women’s choir. I can’t think of a choir of massed voices that I’ve heard recently that’s not a mixed choir of male and female voices, SATB (Soprano-Alto-Tenor-Bass) or thereabouts. There was Chorus of Women but they were a quartet. I was wondering if the tone would be strident, thin, too light and high for my ears, but it was nothing like that. In fact, I was surprised by the low voices of several few bass-like lines. I shouldn’t have been. There’s plenty of crossover between the sexes, not just in pitch of voices but we hear it in voices, too: counter-tenors singing with altos; here, women singing higher tenor lines. This wasn’t just sky-high soprano, but forceful and confident groove-setting. So, my first impression was the broad sweep of pitch and effectiveness of the parts. But on the other hand, I was mightily impressed by several pure, airy soprano voices that floated above the ruck. This was not power but beauty. It’s what I initially expected from a female choir but, of course, it’s just part of the mix. And this whole was a comfortable and welcoming mix. I felt the voices and phrasings sat well together. The Cyrenes have been together for 20 years and they sing with a conductor and without charts and this all helps listening and expression. They were comfortable musically and welcoming personally and it shows in their sound.

They sang an interesting mix of modern and world styles. They walked onto stage in subgroups singing Alleluia. They sang Joni Mitchell (Big yellow taxi) and James Taylor (Lonesome road) and Mary Chapin Carpenter (Why walk). Also referencing the ‘60s but very different in style were a musical setting for words from Khalil Gibran (The Prophet) on the role of parents with their children, and Kumbaya (thankfully, from the Soweto Gospel Choir rather than the campfire). These are easy tunes to denigrate, but I enjoyed them, especially the Prophet. Perhaps because I never had it in a poster on the wall, so I never knew the words, or perhaps because I was a child then and it’s really a truth for adults. There was innocent jazz (Blue moon) and a few other songs of folk truth that I hadn’t heard before. But my favourites, as musical presentations, have to be the two African tunes: a traditional Zambian farewell song in call and response format called Thamba and a South African song of sending love called Thuma mina. There’s an earthy emotional resonance in these songs that’s refreshingly different from modern cosmopolitan life.

So I found the sounds and voices lovely and sometimes beauteous and not at all shrill or tiring. But perhaps I’ll take away a memory of women’s business. These songs all said something: sometimes in words; sometimes in the emotional truth of the music. Many of these women would be mothers, and I can see the honesty and guidance and care of mothers and more widely, of women, showing through. And as they dissolved into the audience after the gig, with children in tow or friends and family around, this was just confirmed. Nice music well sung, but also true expression. Not really siren-like at all. Cyrenes performed at the High Court for the Canberra 100 Musical Offering. They were led by Glenda Wadsley with singers Mary Martin, Anne Gardner, Bron King, Lucy Ferguson (sopranos), Judith Cubbage, Charine Bennett, Merilyn Jenkins, Lois Wishart Lindsay, Louise Gell, Angie Corcoran (altos), Jane Hardy, Vicki Bell, Pamela Foster, Kathy Walsh, Karen Cook, Jacquie Reid (tenors and basses).