31 July 2022


I once worked in the National Library and I was amazed by the microfiche collection, particularly one large set of the works of Isaac Newton.  What a resource it was; a treasure of multiple editions of his works available on this side of the world.  It's old tech now, and probably weeded from the collection assuming availability over the Net but these were pre-Net days (surprisingly only a few decades ago) and such materials weren't so available.  So it's nice to see the word still in use and a joy to hear the improv group memorialising the tech.  Microfiche the group came from a class on classical-improv for jazzers at the Sydney Con.  The lineup is fairly standard: piano, bass, drums, trumpet, alto and just a little skewed with clarinet/bass clarinet/viola.  They played two medleys in a single one hour set, each medley comprising two original tunes with an improv bridge.  The tune structures or melodies weren't too obvious, so the moves through tunes and improv was gentle and left pretty undefined and that suited the free style beautifully.  I was entranced by glorious harmonies that sat so purely at times, rippling intervallic piano, busy drums and occasional smiles from drummer Holly to bassist Alex, Nick just sitting on stage at the end and taking in his own composition (after some stunning solos).  There was much listening, closed eyes, gentle testing noises then more confident statements.  But the whole was not explosive or ecstatic like some free music, but big-eared and comradely, and if I can say it, intimate.  This is one to close eyes to, open ears and enjoy the freedom and colour and interplay.  Very much enjoyed.

Microfiche comprise Nick Calligeros (trumpet), Phillippa Murphy-Haste (clarinet, bass clarinet, viola), Sam Gill (alto), Novak Manojlovic (piano), Max Alduca (bass), Holly Conner (drums).

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