Georgina Darvidis is one of Melbourne’s most versatile and adventurous young artists. Beginning her musical study exploring theatre and classical vocal technique lead to major roles with The Melbourne Theatre Company and The Victorian Opera Company. +
After completing a Bachelor in Improvised music at The Victorian College of the Arts, she began to investigate more traditional jazz styles as well as free improvisation and cross disciplinary compositional forms. This lead to overseas study with acclaimed practitioners Shelley Hirsch and Theo Bleckmann in 2013.
Georgina’s recent projects include performing in the premier original vocal theatre work Permission to Speak presented by the Chamber Made Opera company, features with the Australian Arts Orchestra, guest artist with the Rubiks Collective and completing a collaborative commission with the Bennetts Lane Big Band and the Penny string quartet.
Ben became a permanent tenured member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2011 and has performed regularly with a variety of professional orchestras including as guest principal on Tasmania Symphony’s 2016/17 China tour. Ben has appeared as a featured artist on many film and television soundtracks, several albums of various styles, as well as with chamber music ensembles and as concerto soloist. +
As a jazz musician Ben has performed widely including at the 2016 Melbourne International Jazz festival, Port Fairy Spring music festival and appears regularly at a number of Melbourne’s many venues including Bennetts Lane, Uptown Jazz Cafe, Birds Basement and the Paris Cat.
Ben is also passionate about music education and teaches at Melbourne University, Monash University, and VCASS, he also has volunteered his time for the MSO’s Pizzicato Effect and fellowship programs in addition to many other educational activities. As a student, Ben Hanlon was a member of the Melbourne Youth Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra and attended the Australian String Seminar. Ben was awarded a Victorian Premiers award for his VCE music studies, was invited to be a “Top Cats” performer and was a finalist in the 2005 James Morrison ‘Generations in Jazz’ scholarship. He completed the Applied Performance Program at the Australian National Academy of Music from 2005-2007. His undergraduate studies took him to the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles where he completed a Bachelor of Music with David Moore, Paul Ellison, Leigh Mesh and Peter Lloyd. While studying, Ben attended a range of prestigious music festivals including the Sarasota Music Festival in Florida, USA, the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan and gained orchestral experience with Miami’s New World Symphony among many others.
Kieran Hensey grew up in Barwon Heads on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria. He began playing tenor saxophone at age twelve and after completing secondary school he relocated to Melbourne to undertake a Bachelor of Music Performance (Improvisation) degree at the Victorian College of the Arts. +
Upon graduating in 2008, he moved to Europe to live for two years, basing himself in France. In 2011 he returned to Melbourne and the VCA for his honours year, graduating with First Class Honours. Kieran has featured on recordings with a diverse range of groups and artists including: Nat Bartsch Trio, Hannah Cameron, Unfix, Paper Plane, James Gilligan, The End, and Blind Spot. In 2014, Kieran relocated to Japan to spend a year teaching English, and also performed in Tokyo and Shizuoka. Since returning to Australia in July 2015, Kieran continues to perform in a variety of musical settings in Victoria and interstate.
Bob Jarvis is an accomplished audio-visual artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Working across live video performance, music, animation and software development, he holds a Bachelor of Music from Adelaide University and a Masters of Computing from RMIT which he applies to the development of tools for live audio-visual performance. +
Previous artistic output has included a piece for chamber orchestra and live projection, “Concerto for Light Sculpture“, which won The Vice Chancellors Award at The International Space Time Concerto Competition in 2012. Concepts of that piece were extended in the 2013 work “Luminesce“, a collaboration between Robert Jarvis, Gian Slater and her choir Invenio which explored emergence and the visualisation of musical arrangement. Luminesce went on to win in the live category of the International Visual Music Awards in 2015.
He has developed software for other artists and audio-visual projects including plugins for controlling the largest instrument in the southern hemisphere and touchscreen applications for orangutans. His work has been exhibited at galleries such as The National Gallery of Victoria, The Australian Centre for the Moving Image, The Sydney Royal Botanic Garden and many far-flung places: The Netherlands, Jakarta, New Zealand, Adelaide, Newcastle, Hobart and Sydney.
His open source output includes development and maintenance of VIZZable, a suite of open source video performance plugins for Ableton Live with a highly active community of users worldwide as well as supporting the Spout video Framework written by his father Lynn Jarvis.
He has produced experimental animated music videos for artists Faux Pas, Agnes Kain and Packwood which have screened at festivals internationally. His musical ouput has included music produced as “Zeal” with tracks being featured on compilations by Feral Media and Cyclic Defrost and a feature album on FBi radio as well as a score for the SBS short film Ted and Johnny.
Bob currently works as a freelance software developer and audio-visual artist as well as lecturing in vision and interactivity at The Victorian College of the Arts.
Since basing himself in Melbourne in 2013, Reuben’s unique and diverse musical activity has earned him recognition among the local and global scenes. He leads I Hold The Lion’s Paw and The Inflorescence Ensemble, both of which explore the in-betweens of groove music(s), free collective improvisation and abstract compositional forms. +
Squeezed and oddly burbling lip manipulations, sounding strangely fleshy, were punctuated by the mechanics of the valves being operated, and sometimes left far below as a pure trumpet tone rose in unforced but soaring and somewhat operatic arcs. – John Clare
Reuben is also a co-leader of the international new-music groups The Phonetic Orchestra and SVELIA as well as a member of contemporary ensembles Palaver, Infinite Ape, THIS Ensemble, Unfix and nu-soul collective 30/70.
Reuben has appeared at prestigious festivals in Australia, Europe and South-East Asia. He has independently released five albums under his own name and appeared as co-leader on several other international releases. In 2015 and 2016, he participated in The Australian Art Orchestra’s Creative Music Intensives as well as the inaugural MAP Delhi Residency (2015) with the Tony Yap Dance Company. His group I Hold The Lion’s Paw was selected for the inaugural Lebowski’s Development Residency in 2016.
Alistair McLean is a guitarist, composer and producer committed to the creation of new and inventive works. He is the founder and director of the Australian Creative Music Ensemble, an improvising ensemble dedicated to the commissioning of new work, and has released a variety of recordings, including post with his own quartet, Shorthand of Sensation with math-jazz group All Talk, and A Certain Kind of Now with experimental rock band Paper House. +
Alistair’s compositional practice is focused on explorations of rhythm and timbre, and his work has been exhibited as part of Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria, featured in flagship multi-disciplinary program Swell at Melbourne Music Week, and commissioned by the Arts Centre Melbourne for their Art Music Award winning 5x5x5 series.
Alistair is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, and is currently undertaking his PhD research investigating the relationship between improvised music and the recording process. During his studies he has been the recipient of the Alan C. Rose Memorial Scholarship and the Athaneum Award, and received Australia Council ArtStart funding.
Photo: Karen Steains
James McLean is a drummer from Melbourne, who works at the intersections of composed and improvised music. Best known as a sideman in the jazz genre, James has recorded with a diverse range of artists including Marc Hannaford, Eugene Ball, Joseph O’Connor and Paul Williamson. +
He co-leads numerous ensembles, including All Talk, Blind Spot, and Dispositions – a duo with expatriate composer/percussionist Phil Treloar. In late 2015, James released his debut solo album Counter Clockwork.
In 2016, James was awarded the prestigious Freedman Fellowship, becoming the first drummer to win the award. In 2017, James is pursuing his fellowship project of establishing and recording duo works with Australian artists; and completing his PhD studies into contemporary Australian improvised music and applying systems of movement to drumset improvisation.
Photo: Karen Steains
Joe O’Connor is one of Australia’s most accomplished jazz pianists and composers. He won the 2013 National Jazz Award, held annually at Wangaratta Jazz Festival, and was named Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year at the 2014 Jazz Bell Awards. +
Joe holds a PhD in musical performance from Monash University, where he researched how Ruth Crawford Seeger’s approach to dissonant counterpoint can inform his composition and improvisation. Joe also holds a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the Queensland Conservatorium, where he was the highest achieving student in his graduating year.
Joe co-directs of the large improvising ensemble UNFIX and performs original music with his own ensembles. His trio with Marty Holoubek and James McLean recorded a set of original music for ABC Jazztrack in April 2014. The resulting album, PRAXIS, is now available for purchase in the recordings page of this site, and can be purchased digitally in iTunes. He is currently developing a collaboration between the Unfix, the Penny String Quartet and vocalist Georgie Darvidis, which will also feature new works by Reuben Lewis, James Macaulay, Georgie Darvidis and Ben Harrison. A recording of this music will be released early in 2017.
Joe was the 2016 recipient of the PBS Young Elder of Jazz commission, which he used to develop a collaboration between the Joe O’Connor Trio and master trumpet player Scott Tinkler. The set of music, entitled Confrontations, explores conflict and multiplicity in improvisation and was presented at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and Wangaratta Jazz Festival in 2016.
Joe is in demand as a sideman and has performed alongside many emerging and established Australian jazz musicians including Allan Browne, Julian Wilson, Phillip Rex, Scott Tinkler, Callum G’Froerer, James McLean, Jeremy Rose, Paul Williamson, Chris Hale and many others.
He has performed as a part of the Australian Art Orchestra’s Hardcore on the Fly concert series and participated in the Australian Art Orchestra’s Tanks creative music intensive in September 2014. His work entitled Confluence was premiered by the Monash Art Ensemble under the direction of Paul Grabowsky in 2014.
Photo: Emma Matsuda
Freya Schack-Arnott is an Australian/Danish cellist who enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist and ensemble performer of classical and contemporary repertoire, curator and improviser within experimental music, electronics, popular and cross-disciplinary art forms. +
In 2017 Freya appears in a number of festivals including the Sydney Festival, Melbourne Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Dark Mofo, Vivid Festival and Now Now. Freya performs regularly with Sydney based contemporary ensemble Ensemble Offspring in their 2017 season and in the Now Now and La la la series. Other current projects include the launch of her debut album “Skur” with Danish experimental trio Skaft Økse og Sav and co-curating a new Sydney based music series Opus Now featuring leading local and international contemporary and classical musicians.
Ensembles and artists Freya has performed with include: Bang on a Can (USA), Eugene Chadbourne (USA), Oren Ambarchi (AUS), Speak Percussion (AUS), Liquid Architecture (AUS), Ensemble Midtvest (DK), Bae Il Dong (KOR), Brian Ritchie (US), Wilfred brothers (AUS), Clayton Thomas (AUS), Sophia Brous (AUS), Peter Knight (AUS), Quiver New Music Ensemble (AUS), Fate Maps (AUS), Bonniesongs (AUS), Peerish (DK), Indianerne (DK) and Missy Higgins (AUS).
Born in Melbourne, Freya undertook her Bachelor of Music Performance with Honours at the Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne University), under the tutelage of Howard Penny and Nicholas Bochner. Following her studies, Freya moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, to be mentored by internationally renowned Danish cellist Jakob Kullberg at the Rytmisk Musik Konservatorium (Contemporary Music Conservatorium) in Copenhagen.