by Claire Edwardes, Artistic Director of Ensemble Offspring and acclaimed percussionist
Love List is a Spotify series where we ask friends of the Opera House to curate a playlist dedicated to a subject of their choice. This week, to celebrate Ensemble Offspring's Mesmerism concert featuring in our Digital Season (premiering Saturday August 15th at 8pm), Artistic Director and lead percussionist Claire Edwardes picks her favourite composers of 'art music' that have inspired her and the Mesmerism program.
My Love List begins with the works included in Ensemble Offspring's Mesmerism program and is themed around the style of all of those works – something along the lines of electro-acoustic-minimal art music. With works from Australia and around the world, these unique sound worlds are often lush and vast with a minimal grounding that we can all relate to.
This is cutting edge stuff from around the world with a sonic hook at every turn to inspire you.
"Nico was in Sydney last year and we all really enjoyed getting to know him – he is an energetic and passionate soul plus a crazy good composer. This is the first work of his that Ensemble Offspring has performed and it will be a special part of our Mesmerism show."
"A shout out to Melbourne-based composer Andrea Keller and the Myer Family who commissioned the work. All of them are going through lockdown hell in Victoria right now! We have performed this piece all over the world and the backing track was made using samples of us in the studio alongside touching recitations of a Rilke poem, Love in Solitude."
"Melody is another Melbourne-based composer (we are thinking of you too) who wrote this piece for Lamorna and I a few years back. It was originally for Chinese rice bowls and flutes but the new version we will perform as part of Mesmerism uses vibraphone instead."
Claire Edwardes on the marimba. Photo Heidrun Lohr
"Yannis is an Amsterdam-based composer of Cypriot heritage whose music I adore. I collaborated many times with him during my seven years in Holland and this piece, while not being one I have performed before, really captures the ictus of electronic and acoustic sound worlds that inspire me deeply at the moment."
"Damien is my ex co Artistic Director of Ensemble Offspring and a dear friend and colleague. This trio is from a work we all developed together called The Secret Noise and it uses the accordion, here played by the virtuoso James Crabb – but in later versions taken on by myself and Bree van Reyk in various iterations. Many laughs were had about the fact that we were both terrible at this instrument compared to James!"
"I created this version of Vermont Counterpoint for a Sydney Festival recital – I had to record all 12 parts on xylophone and vibraphone and it was a gruelling recording session. But once Bob Scott and I had mixed all the tracks it certainly turned into a very satisfying live performance experience for me!"