29 May 2023

Hot pop

It was pretty sophisticated popular music but I'll dub it Hot pop anyway because it was fun to hear and no doubt fun to play.  This was Elise leading on a range of sophisticated modern musics with a few visitors from north of Sydney and a few hot locals.  The visitors were Toby Hall and Pete Grey.  Toby has come to town for various jazz gigs in the past although I haven't caught him recently.   He was all pushing and playful and drawing all from Elise and the band.  Pete was new to me, playing a very sweet and inventive gig on a red JB, slinky and fingered and nicely busy and just one little slap line.  The locals were Matt Lustri, local guitar whiz, now also singing harmony and one front line as Matt "Bianco" Lustri.  I like his calm but explosive and well effected guitar, although this was more subdued than I've seen him before, given the more poppy material.  I admire singers and Matt singing was new to me.  Ross Buchanan is a common sight around town and this blow-out performance just confirmed why: busy, charging, unrelenting, staccatos or extended phrases on piano and organ.  I loved to see Pete's glances of interest following a few particularly driving fast repeating staccatos.  It worked a treat.  And Elise, leading on vocals, friendly in presence and with flute melodies and solos to add to the sounds, and with a fabulous repertoire of interesting tunes, a few new to me and worthy of investigation, and danceable beats.  Noel Gallagher, Matt Bianco, Derek Trucks to Bowie Life on Mars and Prince Diamonds and pearls and even Gil Scott-Heron Lady Day and John Coltrane.  And some blues and latin and always driving groove with just a touch of the quieter.  Great fun, tapping toes and some new and reappraised works of genius.

Bellagroove appeared at Smiths featuring Elise Walsh (vocals, flute), Matt Lustri (guitar, vocals), Ross Buchanan (keys), Pete Gray (bass) and Toby Hall (drums).

28 May 2023


We bassists have too little awareness of melody.  Even our awareness of chords is limited other than as movements and intervals, say, compared to a pianist who plays the colours.   It's understandable.  Our role is rhythm and we can play whole gigs with just a chord chart and it's common with many (primarily) single note instruments.  Nonetheless, melody and those chordal colours are central to well written music and Burt Bacharach is a key example in C20th popular music and I was astounded yet again at Smiths this night.  Greg Stott was leading a group playing the music of BB.  I was late, given some confusion over the starting time, but what I heard had me almost in tears.  Admittedly, it's music of my lifetime and that's of relevance, but the complexity and sheer inevitability of the tunes, their plays with time and abbreviated bars, their glorious unexpected colours and beautiful while self-evident melodies overwhelmed me.  The band was good too!  Great even.  Chris with a Beatle bass with pick and occasional finger style, thumping apt rhythms and grooves and plenty of expressive solos.  Nick a wonder on steady and determined beats that exploded with sharp fills.  Greg just shredding with his quick and neat guitar, and some delightful jazz solo takes on a few tunes.  El had a new 5-string e-violin that had me thinking viola until I heard of the low C string.  Her solos were expressive and right, but she stunned me with neat and glove-fitting fills, expertly played over Burt's captivating chords and melodies that just asked for such treatment in good hands.  And Liam who put the words, sometimes queried in our different world, of love and loss.  Anyone who had a heart had to be touched by his fluid jazz interpretations.  But the love, or the look of it, was filling the hearts at Smiths.  Not that it was a young crowd: this was of an era.  I mostly missed the first set, coming in on an instrumental Look of love (as I remember) then a break.  Then That's what friends are for, Wives and lovers, Alfie, Walk on by, Close to you, What the world needs now is love.  Just one of those would crown the work of virtually any songwriter.  Truly a master amongst  Lennon/McCartney, Dylan, Carole King, Joni Mitchell and the like.  But this was just some tunes.  I remember seeing Greg at the BB gig at the Royal Theatre here in Canberra in Oct 2015.  Just look at his playlist for that concert and fell the awe.  Given Burt's and the Greg's band, this was the concert I was most awaiting this year and I was not disappointed.

Greg Stott (guitar), Chris Pound (bass), Nick McBride (drums), Llewellyn Osborne (violin) and Liam Budge (vocals) performed music of Burt Bacharach at Smiths.

  • BB setlist Oct 2015
  • 26 May 2023


    I knew they were gathering a few ensembles including an ANU orchestra and I was interested in the outcome and particularly interested in a free concert on a free evening playing Sibelius.  I am playing Sibelius Symph 2 and it's not easy, so Symph 1 was an object of fascination, with several ideas shared between the two, like long busy passages and off-time busy bass and quick lines leading to sitting tones and some quite demanding, delicate intros.  In the end, we heard all but mvt 3 but it was indicative.  Also impressive was the opener, a few selections from Berloz Romeo and Juliet.  Again quite virtuosic at times.  And a short and lovely piece by Sally Greenaway, but that got interrupted for me by latecomers mulling  for seats, sadly.  Also sadly, Sally didn't get the invitation in time to attend.  This is a young orchestra, although as I understand, not just ANUSOM students, if the general age bracket suggest many are.  Maybe others are current students in other areas.  But other than conductor Max McBride, they were young although perfectly capable.  I was stunned by some passages and mightily impressed overall.  Maybe not a pro-orchestra - yet - but clearly on the way.  It was not an easy program and the performance was admirable.  So, I enjoyed this one.

    The ANU Orchestra performed Berlioz, Greenaway and Sibelius under Max McBride (conductor) in Llewellyn Hall.

    24 May 2023

    Sweep of history

    I associate the recorder with mediaeval, pre-baroque music and small chamber playing and there was definitely some of that when Robyn Mellor played her sweep-of-history at Wesley.  The earliest was Giovanni Bassano from 1685 and then Frescobaldi and Jacob van Eyck (blind from birth so not doubling as a painter) and she still hadn't got to 1700s.  That's early music.  But then a jump to mid-C18th with de Boismortier and Couperin and JS Bach.  The Bach was written for the transverse flute, which is essentially what we have now, although it would have been a wooden flute in those days, I guess.  But the final two numbers were the surprises.  First some jazz (?) played on a modern square-tubed marine play bass flute, Pete Rose I'd rather be in Philadelphia.  Not modern jazz so much as bluesy-traddie but with rhythmic plays and unexpected vocalisations.  Nice one.  Then Australia represented by Ross Edwards Ulpirra and using an Australian-made descant by a female instrument maker in Australian timber.  So the recorder continues to evolve.  Robyn mostly played solo, but were variously accompanied by Arianna O and Rachel W on harpsichord and viola da gamba.  Both of that pre-piano era and deliciously sweetly toned if a cad to tune.  An unexpected but informative trip through recorder history from one of our local masters.

    Robyn Mellor (recorders) performed a history of the recorder with accompaniment by Ariana Odermatt (harpsichord) and Rachel Walker (viola da gamba) at Wesley.

    19 May 2023

    Common enough

    I know of the eight double bass concerto played by the AWO (Witching hour / Elena Kats-Chernin) and I follow basses but even so I was a but surprised at the description as a "time honoured ensemble".  Shows you what I have to learn.  Nonetheless, this was a world premiere of a local contrabass quartet with the admirably slick name of C2Q (Canberra Contrabass Quartet) and it was very well attended and created a ton of interest and it comprises a capable crew, essentially the bass section of the CSO. So what's not to like?  It was a strange sound, even for me, a bassist: deep and rich and growling.  And it's strange to allocate roles.  Max had the 5-string and essentially took the bass/low role while Kyle was the key melodist and host, with Dave and Isabella various playing harmonies and responses and melodies and middle parts.  I checked IMSLP for double bass quartets and there were a few pieces and exercises and the like but none were played.  It's telling that every piece had an arranger so probably these are bassists rewriting from cello and other parts.  And I was also amused at the description of the concert as "some much-loved symphonic repertoire" given the first two composers weren't on the tip of my tongue.  But so what!  The works were by Fitzenhagen, Bortniansky, Dvorak and Schubert and were first up fairly subdued (Ave Maria, Sacred concerto no.24) then the well known and beautiful New world Symphony mvt.2 and the series of Schubert Viennese dances.  So a fabulous and unique take on symphonic music at the low end.  I loved it and it went down a treat.  And I think a little tour is in the offing.

    The Canberra Contrabass Quartet (C2Q) played its premiere performance at Wesley.  C2Q comprises Max McBride, Isabella Brown, David Flynn and Kyle Ramsay-Daniel (basses).

    12 May 2023

    Unusual, this

    I wasn't particularly in the mood but the playing was spectacular.  This was a trio of flute, harp and viola.  Mmm, a strange combo.  The music was all of a muchness, sounding of birds or the like, definitely of an era, and they played a string of solo and duo pieces as well as a few with this rare combination.  And nothing much that I recognised other than the solo harp playing Claire de Lune.  Amusingly, I'd heard another Claire de Lune recently and it wasn't this famous Debussy.  I felt I could just touch on understanding technique on the harp and it was impressive, especially some brilliant tapping that produced huge, rich tones.  The viola was close enough to my bass so I could hugely admire the harmonics and bowing and rapid passages and dream of being able to play such a range without much fingerboard movement.  The flute was totally a blur to me but a very capable flute-playing friend was mightily impressed, so it was good.  The whole was tight and well integrated if Debuss(y)-esque.   Megan is far more classical/romantic than me but she was coming around to the style.  Interestingly, there was a casual invitation to composers in the audience to write for this format, just to confirm the repertoire was limited.  Even the solos were mostly of the mid-century nature themes (Flight, Garden of joy and sorrow, Blackbird, ...wind) but we did get a take on Telemann from solo viola and it was dazzling and had me wondering about how it would have been played in its days.  So, some fabulous playing from a visiting trio for unusual format in a consistent style.

    Adam Walker (flute), Timothy Ridout (viola) and Annaleen Lenaerts (harp) performed for Musica Viva at Llewellyn Hall.

    11 May 2023


    It never ceases to amaze me when I come across musicians with grand CVs, but I shouldn't be so surprised.  They pop up often enough here in Australia.  In this case, it was Jane Downer playing with Ariana Odermatt at Wesley.  I was a bit taken back when I read her bio including locals like the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra and Canberra Bach Ensemble and Pinchgut but also extravagant foreign names like Concerto Koln and Academy of Ancient Music and Oslo Barokkorkester and more.  I guess she studied in Europe and worked there for some time.  She played recorder (tenor or alto?) and baroque oboe with accompaniment from Ariana, although they both played occasional solo pieces in opening and closing side "panels" (it was a Bach Tritych) with a larger central panel as BWV529 Trio played on recorder and harpsichord.  That delicate sound of the harpsichord and the airy recorder and flatulent baroque oboe were all delightful and so capably played.  This is recorder as I seldom hear it.  And it sounded authentic, of the period.  At least I guess so.  So, a discovery but also a hugely pleasurable little concert.

    Austral Harmony performed a Bach Triptych at Wesley.  Austral Harmony were Jane Downer (recorder, baroque oboe) and Ariana Odermatt (harpsichord).

    10 May 2023

    The unexpected

    CIMF has been developing for years but this year took the cake, not that I saw too much, but I did see the last concert and it was unexpected and hugely satisfying.  First up our local Samoan-Australian-Canberran, Kirrah Amosa.  She's a singer songwriter, strumming guitar and accompanying with a good voice in at least 2 languages and speaking of her family and connections.  Nicely done, but the last set was the stunner.  I'd heard his brother Matt several times and there's a bassist brother too.  This one was Berlin-based adventurous funky improvising pianist Aron.  He started with a long solo number with accompanying synth loops (Moog Matriarch) and gradually increasing speed and perhaps intensity.  Not quite the funky nature of his Live at Funkhaus on Spotify but just as bold.  Then Lisa Arduor-Noah out of Kenya and the US and perhaps more, funky, deeply grooving (she couldn't sing without a tapping hand), crowd involving with claps (5/4 including a quarter-note triplet, no less) and a responsive singing passage (Cmin with harmonies).  And a great, great soulful voice.  We've heard it from Baptist choirs to Motown and on, flexible, strong, full-toned, big and thrilling.  Just fabulous.  I listened after on Spotify and just the first track was all harmony and groove and deeply infectious.  Wow.  Not sure how everyone would have taken this as a finale, especially after improvs from Miro and John M for starters, but this signifies an expansive view of music.  Doubly so given there was a hiphop outing in there, too, although I missed that one.  Go Roland!  A thrill.  And do have a listen to Aron and Lisa.

    The CIMF finale featured Kirrah Amosa (vocals, guitar), Aron Ottignon (piano, keys) and Lisa Oduor-Noah (vocals) at the Fitters Workshop.

    09 May 2023

    Thinking of Prague

    Perhaps strange but Brindabella Orchestra is the one orchestra I perform with that gets full houses.  The house is not too big, but it is full.  I don't play with Brinda always but I do play occasionally to fill in on bass when needed.  Brinda was my first orchestra so has a connection.  I also had a connection with this program.  We played The Moldau.  It's about the river that runs through Prague and we've walked over that.  We stayed near the clock tower for several days and I got to various jazz haunts although not the Jazz boat cruise (see under Prague in this blog).  Prague is also the home of Miro Bukovsky and Miroslav Vitous and George Mraz.  Miro tells of playing with Miroslav in his younger days.  But back to Canberra.  The program was the Moldau and selections from Coppelia and Phantom of the Opera and some Russian folk songs and to finish, an arrangement of the Blue Danube waltz complete with a dancing couple.  Shilong Ye is current conductor and he's a capable and affable leader and great for Brinda.  I erred occasionally, but I was happy to hear that one cello bear me hadn't noticed.  I cover well.  So, a pleasurable afternoon with an old haunt.

    Brindabella Orchestra performed at Weston under Shilong Ye (conductor).

    08 May 2023


    We stayed home to watch the Coronation.  I'm a republican but I can admire great art and old buildings and be intrigued by history.  For a long time I have felt the inconsistency of admiring all this given the wealth and power of the owners and instigators.  This was just one case of that perplexity but it was not all.  I found Charles quite a pale royal.  Maybe he was medicated for this unique formal occasion that his whole life has targeted.  It's a common enough offer for families at funerals.  I thought he just didn't seem particularly royal, like a Henry VIII, but then Megan said that's a good thing.  So it is: we have no shortage of autocrats around these days.  And he has stood for some good things, like environment and architecture, if with a limited and privileged view.  Then that overly florid carriage and the military all lined up to gain the King's recognition, and the withdrawal of that prefigured oath of allegiance.  It was nice to see that the wave of discomfort-cum-anger over that one was recognised.  The music was good, even if some said there was too much of it.  Funny that the most-mentioned piece, Zadoc the Priest, was by a German anyway, but the playing was good.  And further, I found it fascinating that the famed English songs like Jerusalem and Zadoc and I vow to thee my country and Rule Britannia! are songs of colonial and homeland and royal power.  But it was interesting to see those streets that so many of us have walked and that chair that we must have seen in the Abbey (we didn't last time in London because you have to pay to enter these days, last time we were there).  As we paid to visit Buckingham Palace to see the royal art collection and a royal costume exhibition.  The public art collections of European royalty are not something for this monarch.  And then the cost, of course.  We may have Charles as our head of state/king, but at least we only pay for him when he visits.  The Brits pay often for him and he doesn't pay normal taxes (eg, no inheritance tax on the death of QE2).  ~$A200m for the coronation while the public suffers post-Brexit and more.  Now there's an example of real Conservative consistency!   And the plebs out in the street with their paper crowns.  But I could still watch it and it was interesting enough and the history and pageantry were impressive, if quite militaristic.  I guess this is the mediaeval equivalent of the cold war military parade of missiles and tanks and perfectly-arranged soldiers.  It's telling.  But again, not Henry VIII territory, just the harmless if costly remnants.  Just some thoughts.

     King Charles III was crowned in London.

  • Once again thanks to WikiCommons for the public domain pic
  • 07 May 2023


    This concert was called Magic Eight because each of the three pieces were by an octet, two instrumental and one choral.  Most people just drooled over the Schubert Octet, well known and long (6 movements, ~1 hour) and interesting to me as I played my first chamber concert on two movements of the piece.  So I like it and they played it with immense capability and hugely satisfying interpretation, but it was just a little unadventurous for me, standard, ordered, of that era as works usually are, but of an era that just seemed a bit tame.  But what to say?  Max McBride was playing bass and he was inspirational, 5 strings, eyes up and around, glorious soft  tone, explosive semiquaver lines.  I was amused to see the cellist smile at Max's parallel lines to his.  I mainly watched Max and the strings, and the strings seemed to lead it all, mainly from first violin.  Quatuor van Kuijk were inspirational in how they communicated although first violin tended to watch less, but I caught a big smile between the violins at one stage and they were very obviously pleased.  That was after the interval.  Just before the interval was Per Nörgard Wie ein Kind (Like a Child) by Luminescence with Roland conducting, and that was odd, using lyrics and noises from Adolf Wölfli and Rainer Maria Rilke for all manner of fascinating musics.  I enjoyed it immensely, following some strange lyrics projected above.  This was very much not your everyday baroque outing; it was obvious why a conductor was required.  Really impressive and great singing and various noise making.  But by fave was the opener, Igor Stravinsky Octet, all jumpy and playful and totally a work for winds.  I delighted in the brass, not least the high, pure trumpet tones and the interpay of flute and clarinet and the bass-y bassoons and was struck by the long breaths demanded of Zoe Pepper.  This was my fave of the night although all was a huge please for whatever reason.  Nobody I spoke to agreed with me: they all preferred the Schubert.  So be it.  Just a bit too comfy a choice for me.  And one final observation.  The Stravinsky reminded me of Fellini and the dates align, so my guess is that Nino Rota (b.1911) was greatly influenced by Stravinsky (Octet 1923).  But that's just a bit of amateur musicological investigation.

    Luminescence Chamber Singers, Quatuor Van Kuijk, Sally Walker (flute), Oliver Shermacher (clarinet), Ben Hoadley and Zoey Pepper (bassoons), Fletcher Cox and Joel Walmsley (trumpets), Jackson Bankovic (trombone), Aidan Gabriels (horn), Max McBride (double bass), Paolo Franks (trombone) and Roland Peelman (conductor) variously played Stravinsky, Per Nörgard and Schubert at the Fitters Workshop.

    06 May 2023


    Two string quartets, one steamroller.  This was a lunchtime concert in the Juliet Room at Verity Lane and it was a great space with a responsive audience and a nice clean sound.  Other than the steamroller, but that's for later.  First up was Quatuor va Kuijk playing Mozart String Quartet K458 ‘The Hunt’.  It was mightily different from the French music we'd heard a few days before at the winery.  Mozart is just perfect of course, but so was the quartet: immense delicacy, huge dynamics, lots of eyes for effective communication, just the most correct intonations and passages passed with endless simplicity and aptness.  It was in this space with this music that I could feel this group.  Then something different, even if Haydn String Quartet op.76 no 5 apparently was written in response to 'the Hunt'.  Haydn was not so much a thing of Mozartian delicacy but of power and attack and strength.  It was such a different presence for the alternative quartet. But then that steamroller.  Verity Lane is in town and work is ongoing in the old Sydney and Melbourne buildings and sadly some was scheduled for this day.  Ya gotta laugh or otherwise you'd cry.  I'm sure AM didn't find it so funny but they carried on bravely and effectively and I can only admire their perseverence.  Still, a powerful and driven performance.  I was recording and expected to drop out the bottom end, but with a close mic it wasn't nearly so evident.  So the comparison of two quartets was fascinating and informative but not as reliable as it might have been.  But fabulous none the less.

    Quatuor van Kuijk and Alma Moodie Quartet performed at Verity Lane for CIMF2023.  QvK comprise Nicolas Van Kuijk and Sylvain Favre-Bulle (violons), Emmanuel François (viola) and Anthony Kondo (cello).  Alma Moodie Quartet comprise Kristian Winther and Anna da Silva Chen (violin), Dana Lee (viola) and Thomas Marlin (cello).

    04 May 2023

    Rustic folk

    Of faeries and fools was the title of this concert and I could see the reference clearly in at least 3 pieces.  The sounds were different as the musical combinations were different and to some degree as the styles were different, but the performances were consistently impressive.  The works dated from after Grimm's Fairy tales (1812) and carried on some of the influences.  First up as Schumann with a clarinet trio (Oliver Shermacher, James Wannan nad Roland Peelman on clarinet, viola and piano) just stunningly sharply played all round.  Then piano (Roland again)and two vocals (sopranos Susannah Lawergren and Anna Fraser ) for Dvorak Moravian duets.  Now this reminded me of Schubert songs and that's a strange style to my ears, dated both in musical form and lyrical themes.  The lyrics were translated to English and projected behind.  I could only chuckle at the dated love songs.  But that's that style.  The singing and piano were great though.  Perhaps better without the meanings?  Then an interval and a ridiculously funny Janacek Nursery rhymes in Czech language.  Again lyrics translated and projected and and the absurdity was a delight.  Luminescence played this with James Wannan and Ronan Apcar.  Then to finish, a much larger ensemble playing Katz-Chernin Village idiot, a work in 5/4 variously 3-2 and 2-3 and a collapse of time at the end.  This was a much larger group with a Alma Moodie string quartet and Jacques Emery on bass and others including e-pno and e-guitar and piano accordion and percussion.  So a very different , more modern and humourous take.  A great finish.

    Schumann, Dvořák, Janáček and Kats-Chernin were performed at the Fitters Workshop variously by James Wannan (viola), Oliver Shermacher (clarinet), Susannah Lawergren and Anna Fraser (soprano), Roland Peelman and Ronan Apcar (pianos), Theo Carbo (electric guitar), Fletcher Cox (trumpet), Jackson Bankovic (trombone), Aidan Gabriels (horn), Veronica Bailey (percussion), Alister Price (accordion), Jacques Emery (double bass), Luminescence Chamber Choir and Alma Moodie Quartet.

    03 May 2023


    I am volunteering as a CIMF driver and this was a driving gig.  I collected the string quartet Quatuor van Kuijk and off we went up Sutton Road to Contentious Character winery.  Lovely view.  The quartet is French and were entertaining with a few French string quartet numbers, by Debussy and Faure.  They did them proud.  Nothing that I hadn't expected given they are on tour and were booked to play the Utson Room at the Opera House and the Melbourne Recital Centre and had a string of album releases to go with a string on awards.  Amusingly, they played as they came, invited to play in jeans.  Nice.  It was more intimate, like mates or a rehearsal session but serious and no stopping.  This was lovely, nice communication, accented intros, clear and complimentary exchanges of lines and a good chat on the way there and back.  Sadly, I was driving so I missed out on the offer of a wine tasting, but they got it.  As it should be.

    Quatuor van Kuijk performed at Contentious Character winery in Wamboin.  QvK comprise Nicolas Van Kuijk and Sylvain Favre-Bulle (violons), Emmanuel François (viola) and Anthony Kondo (cello).

    02 May 2023

    Return of the Recorders

    I was mightily pleased to get an invitation to a concert to welcome back the Recording Ensemble to ANOSOM.  There was once a time when the Jazz School had a Big band, a Commercial Ensemble and a Recording Ensemble.  This concert featured the Recording Ensemble for its first outing in the 2023 format and the Jazz Orchestra.  Leader Greg Stott mentioned the murky distinction of Big band / Jazz Orchestra and it's an interesting discussion but JO it is given the style of music it plays.  But first the RE.  It's smaller, just rhythm section and a small horn section.  They played several Wanderlust tunes and more and leader Miro sat in.  Not quite a slick as the JO yet, but the format is good and I welcome the arrival and look forward to more composition.  As I remember, the original tended to write its own music for recording.  It's an interesting and challenging concept.  Then the JO.  They started with a tune by Jenna Cave called For Miro.  Jenna was a student at the time of the three ensembles and is now leading the Divergence JO in Sydney.  Then a contrafact on Ray Charles with Wayne Kelly sitting in, Stella with El Osborne soloing on violin, Now's the time with Bird's solo played in harmony by the front line saxes, Sophisticated lady and Chick Corea Spain to warm us up for the end of the session.  This all happened in Athenaeum, the large ticket room and bar below Llewellyn Hall.  Then, to finish, a small band named the Tiny Jazz Collective played in the old Wig and Pen room.  TJC featured four players from the larger bands, Mereki Leten, Michael Larsen-Collins, Olivia Uebergang and Dan Simmons playing some older tunes modernised; an interesting challenge and nicely done.  Greg had hinted that this Friday Night Jazz Club may recur, so good to see the larger bands back and also, possibly, more jazz events at the ANUSOM.  After all, what is jazz without performance?

    The ANU Recording Ensemble and ANU Jazz Orchestra performed at the Athenaeum at ANU followed by a small band in the old Wig and Pen room.  The Tiny Jazz Collective comprised Mereki Leten (soprano sax), Michael Larsen-Collins (this time bass), Olivia Uebergang (guitar) and Dan Simmons (drums).  

    01 May 2023

    Growing seeds

    There was a welcome to country but I missed that.  I was there to record and I was setting up and anyway I wasn't sure recording was appropriate.  But then the first concert of the CIMF program, called Seeds of life and located at the Arboretum.  This was one larger then a string of shorter snippets around the Arboretum space.  Oliver Shermacher started with a daring mixed media concert at the Margaret Whitlam pavilion (BTW my first visit to a small space but with a massive view).  He' s a daring player, perhaps especially as a clarinettist, but then I don't know too many others.  Jurg Wyttenbach Una chica in Nirvana was a mix of clarinet and spoken story, all whispey and strong as fitting.  Impressive and daring.  Then Alice Chance Stargazer which had us all playing recorded synth sounds from our mobiles (various, depending on starsign) and Oliver improvising quietly against this.  Then Nicola Resanovic  alt.music.ballistix with a samples-rich background in four parts and OS again improvising over.  This was fascinating, as were all.  OS is Australian born but educated and living between Australia and Germany, so not surprised by his experimental while virtuosic concert.  Those Germans are certainly both those things.  Then a series of snippets of performers in the open in gardens: Miro sitting on a rock playing an improv on a magpie song he'd just heard, then Stella; siblings Flora and Theo Carbo playing something more electric and forceful, I guess a free improv; John Mackey playing immense open improvs, interestingly firstly on Stella then Body and soul; finally the Djinama Yilaga choir comprising ~6 women with a girl and boy and a woman guitarist and led by Cheryl Davison singing songs from their country (south coast NSW).  Interestingly they are revitalising their dhurga language and a little amusing when place names we recognise, like Narooma and Tilba, pop up.  Then a final performance by the Australian Dance Party but I couldn't effectively record it and had to leave anyway.  Ashlee Bye, Yolanda Lowatta and Patricia Hayes-Cavanagh dancing in the vast space of the amphitheatre to choreography by Ashlee Bye and music by Dan Walker.  Really a fascinating outing.

    Seeds of life was the opening concert of CAMF2023 at the Arboretum.  In verious formats, it included performers Oliver Shermacher (clarinet), Miroslav Bukovsky (trumpet), Theo Carbo (electric guitar), Flora Carbo (saxophone), John Mackey (tenor), Djinama Yilaga (choir) and the Australian Dance Party with Ashlee Bye (choreographer, dancer) and Yolanda Lowatta and Patricia Hayes-Cavanagh (dancers).