Exit Ceremonies

Ensemble Offspring and the Australian Art Orchestra

Exit Ceremonies celebrates the darkness with lush, pulsating new works for pipe organ and mixed ensemble.

Two of Australia’s most vibrant musical forces, the Australian Art Orchestra and Ensemble Offspring, unite with celebrated young composer-pianists Austin Buckett and Simon James Phillips, who have each created immersive works exploiting the extraordinary array of sonic effects that can only be achieved with large pipe organs.

The unexpected addition of reel-to-reel tape machines, turntables, electronics, percussion, voice, trumpet and strings will alter your sense of time and space as they are all processed live in combination with majestic pipe organ, creating an unfamiliar and entrancing world of sound.

Photograph by Trainos Pakioufakis


Sydney Festival, Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium, 8pm Saturday 23 January 2016, $49/$44

Melbourne Town Hall, 7:30pm Saturday 6 February 2016, $35/$20


Simon James Philips – Flaw (WP)
Austin Buckett – Aisles (WP)
Alvin Lucier – Swings (WP) [Melbourne only]


Peter Knight (trumpet)
Claire Edwardes (percussion)
Simon James Philips (organ)
Austin Buckett (organ)
Sonya Holowell (vocals)
Martin Ng (turntables)
Joe Talia (drums/revox B77)
Anna McMichael (violin)
Erkki Veltheim (violin)
Mary Rapp (cello)
Sam Pankhurst (bass)
James Savage (sound)

Media and Acclaim

“…all three works on this remarkable program demonstrated uncompromising assertiveness.”

“The Melbourne Town Hall organ’s low tibia notes generated hefty vibrations but the expected aural onslaught proved forceful, not painful.”

“Forceful aural onslaught from Australian Art Orchestra and Ensemble Offspring”

Clive O’Connell, The Age (Melbourne)
“…the kind of music that may not get stuck in your head because it’s busy burrowing deep down into your brain.”
Tom Bensley, The Plus Ones (Melbourne)
“Two glorious and infuriating new pieces for organ…”

“…you don’t anticipate its full emotional heft until you’re lost in the thick of it.”

“This is sensuous, immersive ambient music and a stunning example of how a good composer can distil the bombast and drama of the pipe organ into a thing of simple grace and beauty.”

Luke Telford, The Guardian (Sydney)
“The Australian Art Orchestra and Ensemble Offspring’s recent commissioning program for new organ works is therefore of international importance.”
Matthew Lorenzon, Partial Durations (Melbourne)
“It’s about the exploration of the frontiers of sound itself…”

“…moments of transcendence with a tactile quality to the sound that filled your body.”

Raphael Solarsh, ArtsHub (Melbourne)