Offspring Bites 3: En Masse


Offspring Bites celebrates the most stunning chamber works commissioned by Ensemble Offspring through our Noisy Egg Creation Fund, recording them for release and pairing them with bespoke visual content. Offspring Bites 3: En Masse features works by Australian composers Alex Pozniak, Holly Harrison and Thomas Meadowcroft.

“I’m blown away by the incredible energy, clarity, intelligence and spirited engagement that the musicians bring to the performances”
– Vanessa Lann (composer, The Netherlands/USA)

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  • En Masse is Alex Pozniak’s response to a commission by long-time supporter Charles Davidson, for a substantial piece for the sextet’s core line up of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion. The title refers to the idea of the ensemble working together in a unified mass and the musical ideas explore notions of mass and heaviness. It exists in a segue 3-movement form (fast slow fast) and is 30 minutes in length.
  • bend/boogie/break by Western Sydney composer Holly Harrison describes the character of three recurring ideas across the work. ‘Bend’ refers to the use of glissandi and pitch bends (particularly strings); ‘Boogie’ refers to the underlying funk bass; and ‘Break’, as in, to break apart or a ‘breakdown’ section (perhaps a nod to metal rhythms).
  • The title of Thomas Meadowcroft’s work for quartet and electronics, Medieval Rococo, is an oxymoron for our time: how is it possible to generate an abundance of wealth, ornamentation and redundancy on the back of an impoverished idea? The terms ‘medieval’ and ‘rococo’ are not used to reference periods of European art history, but in the populist sense of the words. ‘Medieval’ denotes music crude and backward, ‘rococo’ denotes music garish and arty.
Offspring Bites 3: En Masse features new video art by Melbourne artist Cobie Orgers (Medieval Rococo), and Sydney-based Juan Withington and Andrew Morgan (bend/boogie/break).
“The technical and expressive demands are devilish, handled expertly by seasoned musicians.” – Jessie Cunniffe, Sydney Morning Herald
“As ever, these Australian works are superbly played and recorded by Ensemble Offspring.” – Keith Gallasch, RealTime

“Percussion and percussive piano – rhythmic and bottom-heavy – provide bedrock and backbone, while the other instruments weave a filigree of sound around this.” – Paul Cooke, Fine Music Sydney
“Music positively explodes from the disc – These three pieces for contemporary sextet are all confident, different and full of life, signs of vigorous contemporary music in Australia. The music positively explodes from the disc, and the performances are all superb, as the players enter with a will the different, and sometimes challenging, sound worlds of the composers.” – Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill
“Any organisation or ensemble that is prepared to work with living composers and perform and record their work with this kind of palpable passion and commitment deserves all the support they can get, and this goes for Offspring Bites 3 in every sense.” – Dominy Clements, Musicweb International