“As far as music goes, I reckon I sound like me, and no one else, that’s really what I feel good about. I have a long way to go still, plenty more to explore and learn, but having your own sound and being recognised by it is surely what I feel is most important, other than not sounding like shit. “
20Up sees the AAO return to the place of its first concert: the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne. A total of twenty-five musicians will perform a range of works from Ringing the Bell Backwards, the first work written for the AAO by Founding AD Paul Grabowsky which premiered at Malthouse in 1994; Passion, which is the AAO’s take on Bach’s St Matthew Passion; Testimony, Sandy Evans’ extraordinary tribute to Charlie Parker; Struttin’, Eugene Ball’s impressionistic take on Louis Armstrong, and a brand new commission from young composer, Austin Buckett called Virtuoso Pause.
I leave them alone in the set break and write in my notebook ‘They make more of their own collective and individual history every time they do this.’ When I read it back the next day I wonder what the hell I was thinking.
The Wilfreds’ singing seems all the more urgent when it is riding atop a band that is in this state of what we might call restrained agitation. And it is this interplay that breeds that sense of mystery, where both parties are enriching the other’s tradition; when the Dreaming of the Yolngu people intermingles with Western flights of imagination; where any demarcation line between ritual and creativity is blown away in a sand-storm of sound.
Network of Lines is a work of ethereal and pure loveliness – albeit one with a red-blooded heart.
In his liner notes (notes worth the price of admission in themselves), NYC based pianist Barney McAll – no slouch in the ‘daring’ department himself – says, ‘(Keller) has been blending memories, sonic pictures, Bartók, Shorter and an immaculate classical technique to ensure her trajectory could never disappoint. Andrea is a serious inventor.’