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.
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.’