People are at the heart of my life, and hence my work. Here are brief portraits of people who have shaped my professional life.
Steve wrote me a beautiful piece called et døgn, which I recorded for weaver of fictions and have played across the world since. He was also a key contributer to the electroacoustic score for en masse.
Oren and I played together in Ian Wilson’s 2011 Sligo Festival, which took us both into unchartered territory. I loved the gentle experience of us finding a common language.
Jim and I have worked together for over a decade, on projects as diverse as recording eighteenth-century repertoire, to discovering new ways to amplify recorders, to creating Pleasure Garden, Acoustic Life of Sheds, en masse and Namatjira. Jim is an essential collaborator and friend.
I will forever be grateful to Paul, Bruce and the ABO for welcoming me home when I returned to Australia after my years in Europe. They created an opportunity that lead to so many others, and to years of joyful music making.
Being surrounded by the extraordinary musicians of the ACO is exhilarating, and I’ve had the extreme honour of playing multiple seasons as soloist with them. Erkki-Sven Tüür’s stunning Whistles and Whispers from Uluru was written for us.
An invaluable organisation, run by gracious, generous John Davis, I’m very proud to be a board member of the Australian Music Centre.
The Australian National Academy of Music brims with talent. I’ve played with their young musicians in multiple projects, including Conversations with Ghosts. Being in the presence of such pure energy is inspiring. Since 2014, I’ve been mentoring the musicians on their Fellowship program. I’m learning at least as much from them as they are from me.
John and Astra have been inspiring me for years, and whenever I can, I sit in their audience. Sometimes, when I’m really lucky, I play with them.
The first time I premiered a piece was Amanda’s Phoenix Songs. Working with Amanda and her beautiful music was so positive and formative an experience that composers and new music have been central to my life since.
A pioneer, passionate and questing, Ros is an inspiring role model for creating and walking your own path.
Jan and I created the music for Pleasure Garden together. Our first project, I hope it will be one of many. He’s a true collaborator – generous, open-hearted and minded, uncompromising and brilliant.
Tim and Francesca took me into their lives during my Four Winds chapter. Conversations around their table and beyond feed and sustain me.
Lou has a huge heart, and a voice that can take you anywhere. We’ve had some amazing adventures together through Black Arm Band and Four Winds.
I met this company in 2008, and began working with them in 2010. It is no exaggeration to say that they changed my life.
It’s a privilege and joy to play with the Black Arm Band. From Thursday Island to Vancouver, and so many places in between, this experience has been life giving.
Damian and I have been working together since 2002. It’s wonderful to have a collaborator with whom you can constantly refine and reinvent. Shadow Box is our latest exploration.
I love exchanging thoughts and books with John, talking of life and art. We created arrivals together with Stephen Grant.
Virginia came into my life in the early days of my professional career as a musician. She was a guardian angel, full of wise counsel that still informs my decisions, years down the track.
Pete designed and solved scores of complex technical challenges for en masse, and brought to each of them a gentle, thoughtful artistry. He also designed this website.
I was excited and honoured when Nicola agreed to create the artwork for weaver of fictions.
Toby brings to his work a subtle intelligence and a marvellous willingness to embrace impractical ideas. Collaborating with him on the recordings heard this and thought of you and Pleasure Garden has been a joyous experience.
Elena wrote Re-Inventions for me, and they’re infused with her vivacity and lyricism. I’ve travelled far and wide with Elena’s joyful music, and hope I always will.
Ben, Andy and I, together with Jim Atkins, created fade, having also collaborated on Conversations with Ghosts. I love their poetry, their beautifully austere aesthetic, their great sensitivity to context.
Monty takes gorgeous photos, even sometimes ones of me that I like – miraculous!
Dave designed my original website. More importantly, conversations and projects with Dave over several decades have shaped who I am and how I see the world.
I came out of my first rehearsal with James with my ears wide open, mind racing. He is a musician with whom I feel anything is possible. Our first CD, Heard this and thought of you, was released in 2015. I dearly hope it’s one of many projects we mould our musical lives around, as playing with James is exhilarating.
Jane commissioned Pleasure Garden, through the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. Her generosity and trust allowed an idea that had been brewing for decades to become a year of joyful, collaborative work, out of which our garden emerged. For that huge gift, I’ll always be grateful.
Davo and I met in the big hART world. She’s a filmmaker whose poetic cinematography reveals layers we’d forgotten to notice. And, she’s a brave, beautifully uncompromising woman, with a particularly subversive take on life.
Brett and Bob together wrote Miss Genevieve’s Nocturne. We’re working on a new, long, slow burn project with Heather Betts, and I’m very excited to see what emerges.
Paul’s playing has transformed what I thought was possible on the clarinet. Generations of musicians around the country have been inspired by his musicianship, leadership, presence, and person.
Moritz created an extraordinary piece called alien for weaver of fictions. His recorder works are legendary, and as a player, take you to places you had thought shouldn’t exist.
From Moscow to Paris, Berlin, London, Melbourne and Brisbane, and the almost yearly meeting at Huddersfield, Elision projects are extreme, created in the company of people I admire deeply.
Lawrence was a central character in the musical creation of en masse. He generously welcomed me into new musical worlds.
Classmates from my Danish days, these women befriended me, and taught me so much. Hearing them play reminds me of everything I love about my instrument.
Sometimes, you are lucky enough to meet people who lead you to discover what might be possible in life. Helen was my recorder teacher through school. She opened a universe for me, which I’m still exploring.
Dear friends and colleagues, my conversations with Flinders are a good ten years strong now. Most recently, we revisited Elena Kats-Chernin’s gorgeous Re-Inventions, and premiered an eloquent piece by Paul Grabowsky, The Nightingale and the Rose.
Maddie, Tim and I first worked together on The Seagull, for Four Winds. I love spending time with these two thoughtful, sensitive artists. In 2015, we each inhabited a shed for Acoustic Life of Sheds, and created a piece for a carpark for their remarkable Siren Event.
Andy wrote Bagpipe Music for Marshall McGuire and me. We’ve shared many conversations before and since, on and off The Music Show, most recently, working on his remarkable Untuning the Sky.
Working with this community over a four-year period was an experience that was profoundly formative. My term as Artistic Director has finished now, but what I learnt during that time will be at the heart of my work for years to come.
I’ve admired Robin’s work for years. I was over the moon when he agreed to join the creative team for Pleasure Garden, where his warm, gentle presence and quiet brilliance have been invaluable.
Stephen’s a designer with a truly conceptual mind, and a contemporary, quietly poetic aesthetic. He’s working on FutureMakers, Pleasure Garden and Ngeringa 24 with me, and I imagine that’s only the start of it!
Jane’s playing insists that you rethink what is possible on a bassoon. She pours formidable intelligence and passion into it, with the result that music speaks, rather than the instrument. I have infinite respect for her uncompromising way of living and her magnificently quirky sense of humour.
Paul wrote me into Shirley Avenue, with Scott Tinkler and Niko Schauble. He was also generous enough to commission en masse, something for which I will always be thankful. Most recently, I premiered his eloquent The Nightingale And The Rose.
I had the great pleasure of playing Iain’s The Riders in 2014. Iain writes as he is: warm, lyrical, highly intelligent, fluent in multiple musical languages.
Bass voice and recorder are not an obvious pairing, but when you meet a musician and person with whom you have such sympathy, you have to find ways to work together. So we do.
Collaborator over many years, through Surman’s Three Landscapes to Black Arm Band and much more, Jude’s a producer with a beautifully considered way of seeing the world, who gives genuinely wise counsel.
When I lived in Denmark, I met Laura and her beautiful work. She’s someone with whom I have endless affinity. Laura created the artwork for two.
Silja Rytter Holm
Silja is a pianist and organist, with one of the quirkiest creative minds I know. She adopted me in Denmark, and that’s for life, as far as I’m concerned!
Sally and I work together on the Australian Music Centre board. Her unfailingly clear head, her warmth and humour, her extreme generosity and way of shaping her life around her principles, make her an invaluable friend, colleague and role model.
My duo with Poul is a touchstone. It helps me define what is important, not just in music. He’s a kindred spirit.
Trevor and I worked together in Namatjira. Rarely have I shared a stage with someone with such presence, grace, and generosity.
Unsung hero of en masse and Four Winds 2012, Michael is a brilliant production manager.
Åsa’s a remarkable woman with a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice. She’s someone of huge intelligence, intensity and passion. We met when we were both studying in Switzerland, where she was an embodiment of what was important to me, both musically and personally.
Andrea dreamt up our Three Lanes trio and has written a series of beautifully expressive works for me over the last years. She’s brave, incredibly talented and constantly searching. I’m so grateful to have been invited into her world.
Paul’s musicianship is direct, starkly expressive. Working alongside him in Conversations with Ghosts made me try to find that same stripped back truthfulness in my own playing.
Our duo goes back further than any other, and our friendship is central to me. My apprenticeship in baroque music began in Linda’s living room as a teenager, but she has taught me much more than that.
Man with a beautiful mind, a passion for music, ears and heart wide open, Paul’s someone whose intellect and judgement I often call upon, and whose books are a source of wonder.
Linda supervised my doctorate, wisely and inspiringly. Conversations with her formed a backbone of my thinking. I’m very grateful to Linda for that chapter of my life, and her central role in it.
Dan’s the teacher who insisted that I dare try to become a musician. Without him, I would not be a recorder player. His recordings still stop me in my tracks.
Jim’s written my into more scores than I could have hoped possible: Line Drawing, Folk Song, New Tricks for Old Dogs, Conversations with Ghosts, and Distraction. I feel incredibly lucky to play a part in his musical language.
A pianist, musician, and woman I take to heart. Sonya is pure in her passion for music and life.
Liza’s weaver-of-fictions is a piece of unbelievable eloquence. Playing this, the long forgetting, and The Navigator, are musical experiences that define an era for me.
Some of my favourite memories from touring Namatjira are of Derik, holding the room in thrall.
Dear and trusted colleague, collaborator and friend, Tim and I are working together on FutureMakers. It’s intense and wonderfully challenging, designing this new program, and I couldn’t be in better partnership than with Tim.
Kirsty’s a bass player with highly attuned sensibilities and an ability to play exactly as she is – with warmth, intelligence, and whole-hearted commitment.
There is an ease between Marshall and I that I treasure, whether we’re playing seventeenth century or brand new music. He’s a remarkable man and musician and our duo keeps expanding in unexpected ways.
Elizabeth’s sensibilities and mine are deeply linked. She takes stunning photos, and is a wonderful storyteller. Her photos are an integral part of upon a time.
Martel’s my collaborator in thinking, dreaming and scheming. She and I ran the Autumn Music Festival together, and out of that was born a friendship I couldn’t do without.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Graham sing. I was almost frightened by the intense, uncompromising beauty and strength of his performance. Now as director of Arts Management, he plays another role in my life, a constant source of advice, help and humour, for which I’m so grateful.
Scott invited me into his Big hART world for Namatjira. Working together demanded of me things I had not thought possible. Scott is a rare visionary and the way he sees the world is a call to action of the most beautiful kind.
Sophie is a free spirit, able to turn her many astonishing creative gifts to pretty much anything. We’re deep into our film project Recorder Queen. Who knows what it and we will become.
Steven created the space in which en masse could be made, and also took me into the Black Arm Band world. He has an astonishing creative mind, is generous and genuinely radical. He is a central person in my transformation from player to creator.
John helps me to be brave. He’s a musician I love, with ears and mind that defy description. His brilliance is so gentle and kind that it’s easily possible to be vulnerable with him, and out of this, to learn so much.
Working with Jo is a privilege – she makes exquisite recorders, and many of the beautiful instruments I play are her creations. We share an obsessively attentive love for the sound of the recorder.
Keith has an extraordinary ability to make me relax and be myself when he’s taking photos. They’re portraits that actually look like me – on a good day!
Clare’s producing Recorder Queen. She’s a woman of great integrity, generosity and passion, and she’s a dear, invaluable part of this wonderful project.
Playing with Karin is like playing with a sister – very little needs to be spoken. When you meet a musician like this, their brilliance insists that you become your best self. It’s a gift, as is Karin.
Peter wrote A Song for Neilma for the 2010 Four Winds Festival. He’s a composer who has defined Australian music. Having a recorder added to one of his scores is a privilege.
Making en masse together was a turning point in my life. Marc is possessed by a need to uncover and tell stories. He’s brave, tireless, capable of great poetry. I love creating with him.
Beautiful musician, deeply thoughtful man, Phil and I worked together first on a Hush album, then on Andy Ford’s Untuning the Sky, and now on The Acoustic Life of Sheds.
Heide takes exceptional portraits. She has an ability to capture your essence, not just how you look.
Stephen has produced almost all of my recordings. His ears, by which I mean his sensibilities and musicianship, I love and trust deeply. Which of course means I would say the same of Stephen.
With characteristic grace and generosity, John lent me his In the Distance solo piece, and then, wrote me into the perfectly pastoral Three Landscapes. Playing Three Landscapes with him at the London Jazz Festival in 2014, to celebrate his 70th, was such an honour.
Joe is a beautifully understated musician, a man of many skills. He moves across different musical worlds, and I’m so glad to have met him in one of them – he and I play together in Three Lanes, with Andrea Keller.
Playing Erkki-Sven’s Whistles and Whispers from Uluru is like stepping into a world of pure sound and thought, minutely traced. I would play this piece any time and place, with great pride.
A gentle, generous man, Andrew produced Acoustic Life of Sheds with a feather-light touch. Quietly making himself invisible, he created opportunities, conversations, relationships, communities and artworks that wouldn’t exist without him.
Gentle and whimsical, just like Max, Minutia is a piece of deceptive simplicity and great beauty.
Co-founder of my first ensemble, treasured friend and musician.
A man with a remarkable mind, generous with his formidable knowledge and creative ideas.
Ruth taught me as an undergraduate. I cannot imagine a more enabling education. I owe a great deal to her, but because of who she is, it’s not a debt which weights heavily.
I have such strong memories of recording A Midnight Dream of Summer, Jason coaxing unexpected sounds out of me as he urged me to experiment further and further.