Sirens at the Big West Festival

On Friday 20 November and Saturday 21 November, the recyclables performed an Adam Simmons composition as part of the collaborative performance of “Sirens” at the Big West Festival.

Led by Maddie Flynn and Tim Humphrey, the recyclables joined with a large-scale orchestration of vocal, instrumental and urban/industrial musical and sonic forces. The works were written by leading Australian contemporary composers Carolyn Connors, Aviva Endean, Neil Kelly, Ray Pereira, Anita Hustas, Peter Knight, Genevieve Lacey, and Adam Simmons.

After ominous storm clouds cleared on the Friday night, a large audience revelled in the whirling tubes and ringing chimes of the recyclables’ industrial instruments. The recyclables met Martin Foley, Minister for the Arts and with singer, composer and choirmaster Jonathon Welch. Both the performance and the networking went very well.

Thanks to Adam Simmons whose composition for plastic tubes and metal washing machine casings created the opportunity for the performance. A big thanks to Maddie and Tim for keeping an eye on us, Daniel for being there, and to Anita and Carolyn for their wonderful support.

Village Festival performance

recylables at village festival

The 200 people attending the Village Festival, Edinburgh Gardens Fitzroy, on November 1, experienced the first public performance from the “recyclables”, a group of young African men from our partners, Kids off the Kerb.

Assisted by Daniel and Tabuto from Kids off the Kerb, the men performed with instruments crafted from the insides of fridges and washing machines collected from the Kids off the Kerb factory in Thomastown. Adam Simmons on saxophone led the group through four compositions.

“Tubes” consisted of a five harmonising plastic hoses that swirled like a bank of 1970’s analog synthesisers. Ali led the second piece “crickets”,  with a delicate flam rhythm using thin wire rods extracted from the front of a fridge.  In the third piece, Amanial ‘s superb poetry silenced the crowd with his account of what it is like for a young African man to live in “multicultural” Australia. The performance finished with a busy West African rhythym chiming on the metal washing machine motor casings.

Funded by a University of Melbourne Engagement Initiative grant, the group are also monitoring the impact of their music workshops and performances on the ways they connect to Melbourne’s creative industry.  With a second performance coming up in November at the Big West festival, these young men are now on the Melbourne music map and are connecting to the rich world of creative experimental artists.