2014 Quotes & Reviews

Quotes 2014 hurricane transcriptions 600 x 180

“The Ensemble Offspring orchestra excelled, especially in the quickfire transition to a demented big band uproar…The interplay between the words of Dante, Sanguineti, Eliot, Pound and the Bible—as sound—with the acoustic instrumentation and electronic score was exhilarating and, in the end, gently seductive…this moody, sometimes quite disturbing work made its mark in what was a standout festival concert.” Full review here
Keith Gallasch, RealTime (Hurricane Transcriptions/Laborintus II)

“The Ensemble Offspring performers are a talented bunch … and clearly enjoyed the piece they played so expertly”. Full review here
Helen Davidson, The Guardian (Hurricane Transcriptions/Laborintus II)
“Fans of the Sonic Youth rock star composer/performer didn’t go home empty-eared; the storm was interspersed with guitar and his singing reflections and generalizations in rhyming couplets, as the superb backing band Ensemble Offspring provided slightly subversive support.” Full review here
Jason Catlett, TimeOut (Hurricane Transcriptions/Laborintus II)
“Various percussion was used to great effect throughout, most notably a giant wobble board beaten with mallets at the hurricane’s violent arrival” Full review here
Hallam Fulcher, Limelight (Hurricane Transcriptions/Laborintus II)
“Roland Peelman conducted the Ensemble Offspring without time, his hands moving with the grace and fluidness of a mantis.” Full review here
Donné Restom, Musicfeeds.com.au (Hurricane Transcriptions/Laborintus II)
“Joined by the Ensemble Offspring, the sound was layered from the near-silent pluckings of a violin until the addition of heavy percussion brought the figurative storm to a crescendo” Full review here
Leigh Tonkin, Brisbane Times (Hurricane Transcriptions/Laborintus II)
Click here for Sydney Morning Herald article “Lee Ranaldo brings perfect storm to life after surviving Sandy”
“There was a feeling of recognition between the two groups – an appreciation of common purpose, the rich vitality and life-affirming persistence of “wild flowers and rank weeds”.”
Full review here
Partial Durations (Three and Under, Brisbane)
“..exhilarating and intelligently constructed…visceral joyous music at its most elemental.”
“This was Offspring and new music at its stimulating best.”
Full review here
Peter McCallum, SMH (Plekto, Sydney)
“Contemporary music’s equivalent of a Heston Blumenthal tasting plate…this was edgy music that repaid putting in the hard listening yards.”
Full review here
Clive Paget, Limelight (Plekto, Sydney)
“Ensemble Offspring gave a performance that showcased that group’s own brand of global musical perspective, providing Brisbane audiences (and Brisbane musicians) with a broadening and enriching experience that will inevitably stimulate future local projects.”
Full review here
Dr. Liam Viney on DeClassified Music website (Plekto, Brisbane)
“What I appreciate most is the delicacy in the use of film, a rhythmic/visual intervention appearing and disappearing in and out of score as do the instruments themselves…The Ghan is less a radical take on the world around us than a reminder of the constancies of the battle between us and the environment, but yes, a cautionary tale (as Rose would have it) on how we may lay tracks into our future.”
Zsuzsanna Soboslay, RealTime Arts (Ghan Tracks)
“The composition’s arrangement, coupled with the projected multi media pictorial and audio narrative, enabled audience members to totally immerse themselves in multiple tiers that mapped The Ghan histories.”
Full review here
India Zegan, Museum of Fathers blog
“The marketing material is all fluffy chicks and comfy nests, but don’t be fooled. Intrepid new music group Ensemble Offspring may be in the nurturing business but the fledglings in this, the first of an on-going mentoring scheme, appropriately monikered ‘Hatched’, are seriously talented youngsters.”

“…always thought-provoking and never dull. With world premieres, Australian premieres, commissions and opportunities for a new generation of contemporary music practitioner, this felt genuinely important.”
Full review here

Clive Paget, Limelight (Hatched)
“…G’Froerer and Rose were afforded the opportunity to demonstrate their frankly astonishing ensemble and musicianship skills, which have been honed and refined under the tutelage of this world-class ensemble.”

“The performance was poised, controlled and engaging…”

“Extreme and frequent shifts in dynamic and texture made for a performance that came across like a series of hugely enjoyable heart attacks.”

“Edwardes and Ricketson have done a noble thing in founding the Hatched Academy – what could be more important than passing on their twenty years of ensemble experience to a new generation? It bodes well for the future of music in Australia that musicians as well developed as Callum G’Froerer and Jeremy Rose are able to be given such valuable opportunities to enhance their skills, and to bring their talents to music lovers worldwide.”
Full review here

Luke Iredale, Sounds Like Sydney (Hatched)
“In a week when I went to concerts performed by our major orchestras it is this one that will linger longest in the memory for its excellence in performance, determination to be different and for the freshness that was evident to all. The co-artistic directors of EO, Claire Edwardes and Damien Ricketson, have got the mix right and they and the other members of EO deserve as much applause as the two featured artists.”
Full review here
Alan Holley, classikON (Hatched)
“Gomes and Ricketson have succeeded in negotiating the potential pitfalls inherent in immersive performance to create an insightful and highly visceral evening”

“Ricketson is a composer whose skill lies in his unique control of sonority.”

“This idea of being transported is an apt allegory for what Ensemble Offspring have begun to explore with this production. The conundrum of “audience development” is a riddle that has arts organisations scratching their heads …Any change in the established norm must be led by trail-blazers willing to buck the trend and take a risk. Ensemble Offspring are pioneers and with this production they have left the first footprints in the sand of an exciting new territory for Australian performance.”
Full review

Maxim Boon, Limelight (The Secret Noise)
“It was the sort of music Dickens’ Miss Haversham might have listened to in her wedding dress every night of her life.”

“With a budget probably less than the average North Shore children’s party, composer Damien Ricketson, director Carlos Gomes, Ensemble Offspring (Claire Edwardes, Jason Noble, Bree van Reyk) dancers Narelle Benjamin, Kathy Cogill, and performer Katia Molino have created a playful and original exploration of gesture, sounds and the ghosts of machines that produce them.”
Full review

Peter McCallum, SMH (The Secret Noise)
“Well, it’s an installation, really. Well, no, it’s more dance theatre. Well, it’s both. And a concert, or recital. With a little bit of circus sideshow. It’s all of these things. And more.”

“Edgy isn’t always assimilable, but the virtuosity of Ensemble Offspring and its esteemed partners, their collective sense of genre-defying adventure, commitment and striving for excellence distinguishes this work as truly cutting-edge.”

“It’s, at once, very now, with more than a hint of tomorrow.”

Full review

Lloyd Bradford Syke, Syke on Syke (The Secret Noise)
“Ensemble Offspring explored the new in Plekto and the hidden in The Secret Noise. Our major organisations boast excellent health, but our edgy more adventurous groups struggle with the rent. We need both for a healthy musical culture.”
Peter McCallum, in his round up of classical music and opera in 2014. Full article in SMH
The Secret Noise – Rhythms Music Magazine Writers Poll, Best Local Gig 2014