Seven Stories


They say when we boil down the world’s vast cauldron of myths, legends and literature, seven archetypal stories emerge; they are the bones of our human experience. But what would they sound like as music?

There was a queen with seven daughters,
Each more lovely than the last.
The youngest had, as well as beauty,
Courage unsurpassed.

Hear the oldest of tales with new ears as seven genre-defying composers from across the Australian artistic landscape weave together a musical re-imagining from a female perspective. The result is at once visceral, engaging, funny and otherworldly.

Featuring new music composed by the indie scene’s Amanda Brown (The Go-Betweens), Jodi Phillis (The Clouds) and Bree Van Reyk (Holly Throsby’s drummer); screen composers Kyls Burtland and Caitlin Yeo; and the classical world’s Sally Whitwell and Jane Sheldon, with accompanying visuals designed by Sarah-Jane Woulahan and text by Hilary Bell.

Seven Stories combines music, storytelling and film in a powerful world premiere Australian work that places women centre stage.



JUNE 3, 7:30 pm, City Recital Hall


Caitlin YeoThe Quest
Jodi PhillisOvercoming the Darkness
Amanda BrownRags to Riches
Sally WhitwellFatal Flaw
Bree van ReykComedy of Errors
Kyls BurtlandJourney
Jane SheldonTransformation
Caitlin YeoThe Quest (reprise)

Download the program here


Claire Edwardes (percussion)
Bree van Reyk (percussion)
Jason Noble (clarinet)
Sally Whitwell (piano)
Veronique Serret (violin)
Jane Sheldon (soprano)
Freya Schack-Arnott (cello)

Creative Development Slideshow

A scrolling slideshow of photos of the artists in creative development, as well as a visual representation of the video art by Sarah-Jane Woulahan and a text excerpt by Hilary Bell.
Photo credits: Slideshow by Creative Music Fund. Page header image by Bill Chen.

Seven Stories Premiere Gallery

Photographs by Heidrun Lohr.

Media & Acclaim

“I’ve written before about the impressive virtuosity of Ensemble Offspring, and I think it’s worth saying again. This is a group playing at a level where they can really perform. What they do with their sonic resources — whether a cello, or an egg-shaker, or a voicestrument — is completely at the service of the story. It’s a joy to watch such a cracking band, engaging with the music, engaging with each other, engaging with the audience.”
Harriet Cunningham, A Cunning Blog
“Ensemble Offspring played with their usual commitment, flair and easy sense of theatricality”
Keith Gallasch, Realtime
“Seven Stories brought an array of emotions to a magical one-hour journey… a perfect marrying of visual art and music that communicates a beautiful tale”
Monica Chedid, audience member

Presenting Partners


Supported by

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Ensemble Offspring thanks the Red Rattler Theatre, Marrickville, for support with space for Creative Development.