“Lately I’ve taken a liking to the term ‘Prog Jazz’. I like it because I like Prog Rock, and what I like about Prog Rock is that theres a story to it; it creatively moves between various interesting sections of music, and listening to it is like an adventure. My music is like that. “
And that from anguish to giddy silliness, and everything in between is the scope of [A]part. It is a massive piece in every way: challenging to the ear and the mind, highly original (as we know Kirkwood to always be), often cerebral and abstract, all the time threatening to be too much to take in in one sitting. But what saves it from possible overwhelm is that Kirkwood never loses the emotional thread in the music; it is human music and it consistently makes you feel. Sometimes, as with all valid contemporary art, those feelings can be baffling or even plain uncomfortable, but you do feel them deeply.
The binding quality of Ellen Kirkwood’s music and her collaborations is that is consistently has one foot firmly in jazz and the other trailing in the waters of a tangy broth of blues, rock, gypsy swing, klezmer, reggae and you-name-it.
Sydney’s Jazzgroove association fifth Summer Fiesta was spread over three venues in Ultimo: Foundry616, Lord Wolseley (I was judged too declassé to admit here) and APRA (I can’t understand it, but I failed the audition, or am I thinking of NIDA?) from Jan 16 to 18. In fact the cross section of bands that was …
Prior to publishing his review of Theseus and The Minotaur (Captain Kirkwood), John Hardaker asked Ellen Kirkwood some questions about the album and Here are her responses. 1. The most obvious first – why did you pick the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur for your debut release? This decision was mostly about practicality and …
In fact, on the band’s debut, Theseus and the Minotaur, Kirkwood has taken on a hell of an idea: the Greek legend of Theseus and his battle to the death with King Minos’ monstrous cannibal creature, the Minotaur. The band tell the story over five linked pieces, with narration by Ketan Joshi.
It is a combination you won’t get anywhere else and they are one of Sydney’s – if not Australia’s – treasures. The Siren’s Big Band – long may they sing us over the edge.
‘We’re all friends who enjoy making music together’, says Jess, ‘which makes for a really exciting and engaging live show. Audiences really seem to dig it and keep coming back for more, which is something we don’t take for granted.’