04 June Monday – The Colin Bright Syzygy Band: CD Launch ‘Space’


Monday 4 June, 2018, 8.00pm

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“Hip, political music-making: Colin Bright and Syzygy’s set burst with high-energy, high-intensity play, resurrecting the sounds of history in a quirky romp, under the surface of which lay a deeper exploration of music-making and politics”.  (Angus McPherson: RealTime)

Syzygy:– Definition:- The conjunction or opposition of a planet with the sun or of any two of the heavenly bodies.  A pair of connected or corresponding things: animus and anima represent a supreme pair of opposites, the syzygy.  This is similar to the interaction between players when improvising – sometimes in conjunction sometimes in opposition!

The Colin Bright Syzygy Band has the aim of exploring  ‘Art Music’ through Indeterminacy in Notation, Improvisation, Acoustic Instruments with Electronics & Sampling.  We spend a very long time learning to play a musical instrument proficiently.  But the Age of Electronics is upon us.  So the Syzygy Band was formed to explore the possibilities of ‘playing’ our instruments in conjunction with electronics, sometimes lightly peppered, sometimes hotly chillied.

Impro Scores/Structures by Colin Bright:- The pieces have ‘structure’ as in a composition, with core musical ideas suggested for development through improvisation.  The musical material  suggests tonal plateaux and rhythms/pulses which persist for a period of time before changing, thus creating an overall sense of stasis.  The player has the freedom to choose some of these ideas, develop their own ideas, or to go beyond…  Thus, a piece will be recognisable through its structure (& samples) although the rendering of the musical material will vary considerably from one performance to another.

An important aspect of the Syzygy Band is to promote the interaction of more experienced players with younger players, who bring a particular vitality to the band:

Syzygy Band is: –

Paul Cutlan – bass clarinet, saxes + FX
Nick Polovineo – trombone + FX
Monty Taylor – alto sax
Noam Jaffe – violin + FX
Stephen Morley – horn + FX
Dave Ellis – bass + FX
Jim Piesse – percussion + FX
Colin Bright – piano + FX + sampling

Colin Bright is a Composer and Improvisor. ‘My compositions aim to define aspects of where I live (i.e. ‘psyche of place’), and how I/we live (my perception of the psychological state of the society of which I am a part).  Improvisation has always been at the core of my musical practice.’  Contrary to Australia’s other leading composers, Colin Bright is essentially self-taught.  His early involvement in socio-political issues and his interest in Aboriginal music led to him to adopt Peter Sculthorpe as a mentor through the early seventies.

Colin Bright has since received Composer Fellowships, International Fellowships and commissions from most of Australia’s leading ensembles and his music has been performed and broadcast in 27 countries around the world.  He was awarded a 2 year Composer Fellowship from the Music Board of the Australia Council, 2003-4.  And has twice received Best Composition by an Australian Composer at the Classical Music Awards.

Paul Cutlan‘s expressive voice as a multi-instrumentalist and composer is informed by many styles, including contemporary classical music, world music and jazz. He has played with groups such as Ten Part Invention, Ensemble Offspring, Vince Jones, Australian Art Orchestra, Dr G Yunupingu, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra with the Presets and Sydney Theatre Company. Cutlan performed in Diary of a Madman for Belvoir in Sydney and New York and backed international acts including Lou Reed, Ólafur Arnalds, Bobby Previte , Jim McNeely and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Cutlan is a long-term member of world/jazz group MARA!, touring Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. He was composer and musical director for the Beat cabaret Birth of the Cool in Sydney, Edinburgh and Germany and led a trio at the Paris quartier d’été. Composition commissions include works for the Sydney Festival, Ars Musica Australis, Aurora New Music Festival and Divergence Jazz Orchestra. Cutlan’s works feature on his CD Across the Top.

Jim Piesse’s broad musical experience includes playing and touring with a who’s who of Australian and international artists.  He has had extensive experience playing improvised music as a member of the acclaimed Nolan/Buddle quartet and Galapagos Duck.  Jim has played with bands led by Al Cohn, Barney Kessel and Paul McNamara.  He studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, later going to the U.S.A. to study with Ed Soph, Murray Spivack and at length with Joe Morello.  Leading Australian players come to Jim for help with developing and refining their technique and Jim is currently engaged in a project with the U.S. website Drumchannel to bring it’s educational content into Australian schools.  He endorses D.W. drums and Sabian cymbals.

Stephen Morley was a Featured Artist at the 42nd International Horn Symposium, Brisbane, Australia, 2010.  In 2009 he was a Guest Artist at the 6th Julius Watkins Jazz French Horn Festival in Seattle, Washington. An alumni of OMI International Artists’ Colony, New York 2002, Stephen has performed at Goethe Institute, New York City, as well as with Peter Knight’s 5+2 (Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2002), Stephen Morley Quintet (Bennett’s Lane Melbourne) and with Tony Gorman’s Monday Club, including a 2 week residency on Cockatoo Island, Sydney, as part of the Places and Spaces program 2012. His CD Squall, released on Rufus Records, was commissioned by ABC Classic FM’s Jazztrack program in 2006.

Nick Polovineo completed his Bachelor of Music Performance (Jazz) from the Sydney  Conservatorium in late 2017. An emerging young improviser, he is an active member of a number of ensembles playing music ranging from 1920’s swing to contemporary improvisation.

Noam Jaffe is currently in his fourth year of his BMus Performance degree at the Sydney Conservatorium, where he was the recipient of the Jean and Thomas Louis Pidcock scholarship, and studies with Janet Davies. Winner of the 2014 Conservatorium High School soloists competition, CHAOS, Noam was also a 2016 finalist of the Conservatorium’s concerto competition. He has toured internationally with the Australian Youth Orchestra and attended the Estivo chamber music summer program in Italy in 2017. Also in 2017, Noam served as concertmaster of the Sydney Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra. Complementing his work as an orchestral and chamber musician, Noam is passionate about music as a driver of social change. Most recently, he was recipient of the New Colombo Grant, and partook in an education tour of Samoa which explored the intersection of traditional Samoan music and western classical music, working with the newly-formed Samoan National Orchestra and young Samoan musicians.

Additional information

Ticket Type

General Admission, Concession, Dinner & Show – 7pm, Dinner & Show – 8pm, Premium Dinner & Show, Drinks & Show

Event Details

Date: 4 June 2018

Start time: 20:00

End time: 23:00

Venue: Foundry 616

Phone: 02 9211 9442

Email: info@foundry616.com.au