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Ensemble Offspring

The Surge

May 21, 2021 @ 6:00pm

The 1990s were a riot of transformation that redefined both Australia and the world. ‘Creative Nation’ announced the central role of art in life and society, while the Mabo decision set off a chain reaction culminating in Paul Keating’s historic Redfern Address and the Australian Parliament’s landmark Native Title Act in 1993. The internet began to insinuate itself into every corner of contemporary experience, reshaping everything it touched. The scientific community, meanwhile, spoke with increasing urgency of the mounting evidence of anthropogenic climate change, while politicians turned a deaf ear.

What are the sounds of this crucial decade?

Joined by leading guitarists Andrew Blanch and Vladimir Gorbach, Ensemble Offspring reignites two classics from the ’90s by iconic Australian composers Sculthorpe and Westlake alongside five new commissions from Wells, Wilcox and Davidson reflecting on the cultural, climate and political situations Australia finds itself in today.

With original live video by Peachey and Mosig, this will be a multi-layered feast of music, ideas, lessons from the past and – with a little luck – hope for the decade ahead!

“This is a concert that must be seen. Hearing it is not enough. It was full of play and colour and many incredible techniques.” – Rob Kennedy, City News (Canberra)

4 stars ★★★★ “this now-established group’s glimpse back at its misspent youth.” – Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald

“the project impressively weaved together…disparate elements into a unique program of both lofty and lighter fare…a thematically ambitious but highly accessible musical event.” – Adam Jeffrey, classikON


Date & Time

Friday 21 May 2021 – 6pm National Film & Sound Archive Canberra Tickets $25/$20

Sunday 23 May 2021  – 5pm Deniliquin Baptist Church Tickets $35

Saturday 29 May 2021 – 3pm The Corridor Project, Cowra Tickets $35

Sunday 30 May 2021 – 3pm Orange Regional Conservatorium Tickets $30/$25

Saturday 5 June 2021 – 7.30pm Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre Tickets $30/$25

CANCELLED – 7:30pm (doors 7pm) SLQ The Edge, Dots+Loops Brisbane




Paul Mac – Redfern Address (video) (2019) 6′

Peter Sculthorpe – Tropic (1992) 10′

Jessica Wells – Diminishing Species (2021) WP 3′

Felicity Wilcox – Tipping Point (2021) WP 10′

Jessica Wells – Technophiles (2021) WP 3′

Nigel Westlake – Tall tales but true (1992) 8′

Jessica Wells – This is the Nineties (2021) WP 3′

Robert Davidson – Netsurf (2021) WP 6’30

WP = world premiere

Program duration: 75 minutes

The Surge Program Notes



Claire Edwardes (percussion)
Jason Noble (clarinet)
Sonya Lifschitz (piano)
Véronique Serret (violin)
Ben Ward (double bass)
Andrew Blanch (guitar)
Vladimir Gorbach (guitar)

Peachey & Mosig (video)

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The Surge