Gigs and concerts

Review: Mark Isaacs, solo piano extemporisations at Bird’s Basement

Upon first entering Bird’s Basement, I was immediately conscious of the crystalline sound of the piano, each unamplified note lingering in the space, untrammelled by its neighbours. The audience, in darkness, appeared hushed, as if intensely focused on the music: lyrical, melodic and restrained. As I was drawn into this music, I was conscious of its fragile delicacy, as Mark Isaacs mined the upper register, unafraid of summoning sheer beauty from his instrument.

Barney McAll: “Music is a guide for society”

“I am presenting this music with a great amount of respect, because the thing that I realized is that there are really magnificent composers who only write for the church and are thus not really known – particularly Doris Akers is a very strong composer in different styles and few people in Australia has heard of her,” says Barney McAll

Harry James Angus talks about his soul-jazz-gospel album project on Greek mythology

“To me, Theseus and Minotaur is a story about masculinity and a story about a cycle of fear and anger and rejection that fathers pass on to their sons that perpetuates bad things in society, like sexual abuse and violence. I see the Minotaur as a classic example of a child who wasn’t given the tools to be a good person in life regardless of the fact that he had the head of a bull.”

Elysian Fields – The Scandinavian Project

Jenny Eriksson: “Elysian Fields have several Scandinavian connections. Matt Keegan studied in Sweden, vocalist Susie Bishop sings fluently in Swedish and bass player Siebe Pogson is 1/8th Swedish. We’ve been doing covers of Scandinavian jazz artists almost from the start. Since Susie Bishop joined us we’ve added some Swedish folk songs. We’ve given Matt McMahon honorary Swedish citizenship, so he does not feel left out!”

Claire Cross: “I love Bjork’s ability to get mileage out of her musical elements”

“For this project I felt like it wouldn’t be fulfilling for the audience or musicians if we just attempted to play Bjork’s music the way she has produced it, especially for a jazz festival! There has to be something fresh, intriguing, experimental or risky involved for it to make sense to me. I guess this is what we will strive towards presenting some amazing music that we all know and love with a new perspective and sound and room for everyone involved to get their individual voices across.”