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Ossicle Duo moves beyond the sound barrier and into a Japanese garden!

The Sound Barrier for Sunday 24 June 2018

Last week on The Sound Barrier I presented some pieces that reflected a connection between music and ecology, and this weekend I'll be taking you a little further into that space, into music that has blossomed out of Japanese gardens.

It's all because of a concert coming up on Tuesday 3 July at the Melbourne Recital Centre, presented by Melbourne's Ossicle Duo, whose members, percussionist Hamish Upton and trombonist Benjamin Anderson, will be joining me in the studio this Sunday night to talk about the music they will be playing.

It will be a magical journey into music inspired by Japanese Gardens, from three very different perspectives: the image-infused power of Japan's Dai Fujikura, the spectral colour of Finland's Kaija Saariaho, and the graphic indeterminacy of John Cage.

I'll be talking with Hamish and Benjamin about the three works they'll be performing at the concert, and we'll be listening to one of these – Kaija Saariaho's glorious Six Japanese Gardens for percussion and electronics. We'll also be listening to a separate work by Dai Fujikura, his electronic work I Dreamed on Singing Flowers as a foretaste of the rich and beautiful Deliquesce for solo trombone, which Benjamin will play at the concert.

We will also hear an iconic recording of John Cage's Ryoanji, one of Cage's works for variable instrumentation in a score that uses graphic notation to set out particular parameters of the music that are then realised, with some guided freedom, by the performer. In Ryoanji, those graphic elements are derived from traced outlines of stones in a Kyoto rock garden. Those outlines guide pitches and glissandi in the instruments, against which a notated percussion part sounds throughout the whole piece, in changing metres of combined wood and metal beats. Ossicle will play Ryoanji at their concert in its version for trombone and percussion, but the recording I will be bringing you on Sunday night is an hour-long realisation with double-bass, flute, trombone, oboe, voice, and percussion. It is immersive, meditative, magical.

I hope you can join me this Sunday night as this exciting young duo talk about this adventurous concert, In a Japanese Garden, and as we listen to the music and composers they'll be featuring. You can tune in live in and around Melbourne on 106.7 PBS FM or on PBS Digital, or from anywhere in the world on the PBS App or online. The audio and playlist will also be available her online shortly after the show has gone live to air.

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