World-renowned shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) master, Riley Lee, has joined forces with the Enigma Quartet in Five Elements, an ambitious commissioning and performance project to create an entirely new genre of music that blends Japanese with European music. They will perform in November as part of the popular monthly Prelude in Tea series at North Sydney’s Independent Theatre.
With 10 contemporary works (including the premiere of 8 new, original compositions), this project features some of Australia’s most highly-regarded composers alongside exciting emerging talents as well as incorporating music from film composers.
The concept of Five Elements was derived from the belief in many ancient cultures that the entire universe was made of just five fundamental elements, in this case Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Ether. This idea resonated with having five ensemble members on stage. Each composer has taken a different element as their starting point and interpreted this freely. The artists also invite audience members to reflect (through the musical performance) on sustainability, the natural environment around us and the impermanence of life itself.
The unique feature of this project is the combination of shakuhachi and string quartet, demonstrating the synergy that exists between the exotic and oriental flavour of the shakuhachi and the familiarity of the string quartet; the juxtaposition of Eastern Zen Buddhism with Western Classicism is striking. Experience new sound worlds created through the union of the meditative sounds and gestures of the shakuhachi and the rich harmonic and timbral palette offered by the broad range of the string quartet.
The ‘Five Elements’ composers are Ross Edwards, Anne Boyd, Gerard Brophy, Stuart Greenbaum, Katy Abbott, David Hirschfelder, Holly Harrison, Andrew Howes, Elena Kats-Chernin and Lachlan Skipworth. Enigma Quartet comprises Marianne Broadfoot (violin), Kerry Martin (violin), Elizabeth Woolnough (viola) and Rowena Macneish (cello).
Tickets: $47 Adult, $30 Concession, $22 student and $16 child, afternoon tea included.
Bookings: www.theindependent.org.au or phone 9955 3000