Ensemble Offspring’s Sizzle: Art, Popular Culture And Free Family Fun

Ensemble Offspring
Ensemble Offspring

Inner West music outfit, Ensemble Offspring, presents its annual free community music event, Sizzle, now in its seventh year. Sizzle has become a fixture in the Inner West calendar — a mixture of art-meets-popular culture-meets-family fun. This year, audiences can experience a chamber music set, all-female big band, interactive music installation and an eco-friendly instrument-building workshop with Reverse Garbage for all ages.

“Expect everyone from bearded hipsters to excited toddlers and parents looking for a family outing with a twist, along with dedicated contemporary classical music fans at Sizzle”, says Claire Edwardes, Artistic Director and percussionist of Ensemble Offspring, whom younger audience members might recognise from her guest spots on ABC TV’s Play School.

Ensemble Offspring is well-known for challenging the classical music status quo, and this year it is only programming work by women. The ensemble felt it was “vital to shine the spotlight on female composers for an entire season to start changing the current norm where men make up the majority, if not all, of classical music programs”, said Edwardes.

In keeping with this, Sizzle showcases music by international experimental music pioneer, Pauline Oliveros and New York-based inter-genre composer, Sarah Kirkland-Snider. Also featured will be emerging Serbian-born composer, Ivana Radovanovic, whose piece for electric violin will be performed by Ensemble Offspring’s very own Veronique Serret – known for her work leading orchestras for Megan Washington and Sarah Blasko among other things.

Special guest artists, Sirens Big Band, a jazz “super-collective” comprising of young female musicians formed in 2009 as a response to the under-representation of women in jazz, will premiere a new work by one of their core members, local trumpeter and composer, Ellen Kirkwood.

Commissioned especially for Sizzle is a new work by the ensemble’s drummer, Bree Van Reyk, (punters might also recognise her from behind the drums for the likes of Paul Kelly and Holly Throsby) and two interactive sound experiences. Audiences can have some fun with Ping Pong Pop, by Melbourne composer Aviva Endean, an interactive game-piece combining clarinet with ping-pong balls. On the lawns, they can join a hands-on, instrument building workshop and performance experience with a twist, Your Ears are Appreciated, composed and facilitated by young local composer, Liz Jigalin.

Sizzle is all about challenging traditional notions of classical music and inviting audiences to experience contemporary, living music on their terms.


The performers:
Sirens Big Band, Aviva Endean (clarinet/installation performance), Elizabeth Jigalin (workshop facilitator), Hatched Academy Musicians, Veronique Serret (6 string electric violin), Jason Noble (clarinet), Lamorna Nightingale (flute), Bree van Reyk (percussion), Claire Edwardes (percussion), Zubin Kanga (keyboard), Jessica Dunn (double bass), Simon Dawes (electric guitar).

This event is free.

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