Ensemble Offspring

As part of Sydney’s first ever 12 hour micro-festival (in the style of Bang on a Can’s legendary New York marathons) Ensemble Offspring performs the music of Steve Reich in the stunning acoustic of City Recital Hall.

In this special performance Ensemble Offspring expands to include some of Australia’s most well known exponents of new music including Ashley Smith (Perth), Sonya Lifschitz (Sydney), Daryl Pratt (Sydney) and Jenny Khafagi (Melbourne) alongside our regular members.

From noon to midnight on August 25, Extended Play features a dynamic line-up of 20 local and international artists who will transform City Recital Hall into a rich hub of sonic exploration and musical landscapes. Headlining the main stage is New York ensemble Bang on a Can All-Stars, who play “a central role in fostering a new kind of audience that doesn’t concern itself with boundaries” (The New York Times). They are recognised worldwide for their ultra-dynamic live performances, freely crossing the boundaries between classical, jazz, rock, world and experimental music to forge a distinct category-defying identity. Also appearing on the main stage alongside Ensemble Offspring are Topology, ELISION Ensemble, and Alon Ilsar.

Explore improvised celestial soundscapes, daredevil piano antics, twinkling electronica, uplifting melodic improvisations and so much more. Come for the music, but not just to listen. See, feel, explore and play.


4pm Saturday 25 August, City Recital Hall


Steve Reich – Double Sextet for vibraphones, clarinets, flutes, violins, cellos and pianos 22′
Steve Reich – Radio Rewrite for vibraphones, flute, clarinet, pianos, violins, viola, cello and electric bass 19′
Steve Reich (arr. Claire Edwardes) – Vermont Counterpoint for vibraphone, xylophone and pre-recorded track 10′


Claire Edwardes (percussion/Artistic Director)
Daryl Pratt (conductor/percussion)
Joshua Hill (percussion)
Véronique Serret (violin)
Jenny Khafagi (violin)
James Wannan (viola)
Blair Harris (cello)
Rowena Macneish (cello)
Lamorna Nightingale (flute)
Lisa Osmialowski (flute)
Jason Noble (clarinet)
Ashley Smith (clarinet)
Zubin Kanga (piano)
Sonya Lifschitz (piano)
Jacques Emery (electric bass) 


“Sydney’s own Ensemble Offspring hit the auditorium later in the afternoon for a hypnotic all-Reich set – Radio Rewrite and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet bookended a glimmering solo performance by Claire Edwardes of Vermont Counterpoint on vibraphone and xylophone.”

Angus McPherson, Limelight

“Ensemble Offspring dedicated its contribution to the music of Steve Reich starting with Radio Rewrite, a reworking of two songs by Radiohead using Reich’s rhythmic phasing techniques.
They concluded with a taut, concentrated performance of Reich’s major work Double Sextet, with an arrangement by Claire Edwardes for xylophone and vibraphone (with pre-recorded tracks) of the same composer’s Vermont Counterpoint.”

Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald

“Ensemble Offspring enthralled its auditorium audience.”

“…Edwardes’ bravura account [of Vermont Counterpoint] conjures a ringing, crystalline world of escalating accumulations and magical gear-shifts, realising a memorable real/virtual dialogue.”

“Again there were oscillations, quite rapid, between fast and slow passages with a melodically plangent slow movement dominating the central third of the work, before the pounding ride home, interlocking percussion and pianos driving hard, fractionally slowing and pushing ahead — all credit to Edwardes on vibes and Zubin Kanga and Sonya Lifschitz on pianos, and superb ensemble playing all round.”

Keith Gallasch, Real Time

“Earlier in the day Ensemble Offspring celebrated the music of Steve Reich. The players’ tight-knit performances of Radio Rewriteand Double Sextetcaptured their propulsive energy.”
“Percussionist Claire Edwardes’ scintillating account of Vermont Counterpoint illuminated its contrapuntal intricacies”
“Exciting, invigorating and good fun, Extended Play was the best new classical music initiative Sydney has seen in years.”

Murray Black, The Australian