Grants, Creative Developments & Darmstadt

Grant writing is a lot like writing essays. You probably hear stories about others who chip away at them gradually, and wind up with great results. Personally, my approach is a little different. I've always liked to stew on my ideas for as long as possible, then sit down and blast through the entire thing in some kind of caffeine-induced haze! This week I've been working with Tamara Kohler on an application for a Rubiks project we've been talking about for years, and now that it's in we're crossing everything that it comes through. 

The big learning curve for Tamara and I this week was that for the first time we had to look into auspicing. What this means is that if we're successful in our application, an incorporated association will take charge of managing the funds for our project. This is incredibly common in the arts world, but was a whole new ball game for us! Auspicious Arts Projects in Southbank were really lovely and held our hands through this process, and we can't recommend them highly enough. 

I've also been spending a fair bit of time in the Speak studio this week, where Eugene and Matthias are preparing for the first showing of a new project using children's toys and ideas of play as the musical and thematic material. Tomorrow marks the end of the first creative development, and it's amazing to see how quickly things can evolve in just two weeks. One of the things I've always loved about Speak's work is how thoughtful Eugene and Matthias are about every element of their performances, and even in these very early stages they've been playing with some amazing lighting ideas. 

Finally, the last bit of exciting news for this week - I'm over the moon to have been accepted into the percussion course at this year's Darmstadt International Summer School for New Music in July! Friends who have attended previously have told me it's 24/7 music, and I can't wait. I'm especially excited to learn more about the new music scene in Europe. Almost all of my travel for music festivals and summer schools has been to the US, so it's going to be fascinating to see a different side of contemporary music. 

What's next?  

  • Marcus Fjellström arrives in Melbourne and Rubiks begin rehearsals for 'Imaginarium'! 
  • Speak Percussion's first Sounds Unheard activity for the year, the Anicca Artist Internship. Secondary school musicians can spend an afternoon with Speak Percussion's Artistic Associate Matthias Schack-Arnott, hearing about the first creative development of his new work Anicca and the process of designing a brand new, one-of-a-kind percussion rotating instrument. Intern places are full, but late applications are still welcome from students who'd like to observe the session - just email
  • Putting in some serious work on Andrian Pertout's absolutely killer glockenspiel solo 'Exposiciones'. I've been enjoying listening to been enjoying listening to the fantastic recordings by Peter Neville and Louise Devenish, and I'm looking forward to performing this at the Canberra International Music Festival in May!