WHO DREAMED IT? | MEDIA RELEASE 17 August 2017

This September, Carriageworks and Ensemble Offspring present three world premieres of new music by internationally renowned composers, showcasing US-based Australian soprano Jessica Aszodi. Featuring an international co-commission by Lisa Illean, Unsuk Chin’s classic Acrostic-Wordplay and a theatrical work by Jennifer Walshe, Who Dreamed It? will be performed at Carriageworks at 2pm on Saturday 23 September.

Following the success of Arc Electric, presented as part of All About Women Festival 2017 (Sydney Opera House) and Seven Stories, presented as part of Vivid Sydney 2017 (City Recital Hall), Who Dreamed It? continues Ensemble Offspring’s commitment to devote their entire 2017 artistic program to music composed by women.

Dreams, fairy tales and fate provide the inspiration for this phantasmagorical concert, billed as ‘the soundtrack of a sleeping mind’. A suite of surprising and beguiling works will lead the listener down unmapped byways of their imagination.

This program provides the ideal platform to showcase the vocal talents of Chicago-based vocalist Jessica Aszodi, who returns to Australia after a recent performance Klangspuren Festival (Austria), where she shared the bill with the likes of Laurie Anderson.  She is a performer of notated and improvised music, a researcher, curator and producer of music that challenges the status quo. In her genre bounding career Jessica has premiered over 60 new pieces of notated music, sung a dozen roles from the standard operatic repertoire and collaborated with a constellation of artists from the far reaches of the musical palate. The New York Times has praised her “…virtuosic whimsy” while The Age calls her simply “…one of the finest actress-singers in the country”.

Audiences will be invited to step into the enchanted worlds of South Korean born, Berlin-based Unsuk Chin’s classic seven-part ensemble work, Acrostic-Wordplay; an inventive recasting of seven fairy tale scenes inspired by Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ featuring a weird and wonderful array of instruments including mandolin, harp, antique cymbals and marimba.

London-based Australian composer Lisa Illean will world premiere her dream-inspired international co-commission, Cantor. Her compositions have been described as “exquisitely quiet shadows shaded with microtunings” (The Sydney Morning Herald) and “a compelling exercise in stillness and quietude” (The Australian).

Irish composer and performer Jennifer Walshe will premiere the wildly irreverent, Everything you own has been taken to a depot somewhere. The Irish Times has said that “without a doubt, hers is the most original compositional voice to emerge in Ireland in the last 20 years”.

Who Dreamed It? also features the world premiere of new work by Taiwanese born, Australian/New Zealand raised composer Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh and Iranian composer Anahita Abbasi.

Ensemble Offspring Artistic Director Claire Edwardes said: “We are so excited to be returning to the vast and impressive Bay 20 at Carriageworks to present this extraordinary program of world premieres by female composers from around the world. Who Dreamed It? caps off our year of celebrating female composers with a bang – three brand new commissions, a remount of a recent premiere and the first Sydney performance of the Unsuk Chin classic for many years. This music needs to be experienced live by our virtuosic Ensemble Offspring musicians as it is both visceral and visual – a true treat for the senses!”

Carriageworks Artistic Director Lisa Havilah said:  “This dynamic program of work by female composers, including world premiere performances, demonstrates a wealth of exciting contemporary talent in the music world.  We are thrilled to have such a rich selection of talented musicians and composers contributing to this vigorous work.  It reaffirms Carriageworks’ commitment to supporting diversity in the arts.”