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New Album Release - Epilogue
Our new album has been released on Navona Records!
Here's what Navona have said about it (:
Zephyr Quartet's new release, EPILOGUE, betrays expectations in the best manner possible. Listeners expecting to hear traditional (or even contemporary) classical music from this Australian string quartet will be in for a big surprise when they find tracks that resemble those of – wait for it – a great modern pop or rock group instead. But there is more: the immediate accessibility of their music almost instantly reveals a great depth, profundity and musical richness, to the point where it will find only few rivals in contemporary composition.
Far from being epigones of the Old, Zephyr Quartet manages to create a coherent, but nonetheless varied mix of pieces which highly encourage repeated listening. Perhaps most striking is the utmost homogeneity of EPILOGUE, considering that the individual pieces were composed by the individual members of the quartet, providing each ensemble member with the chance to express themselves. And yet, all these pieces fit together like pieces of the same big puzzle, indubitably a testament to the group's remarkable cohesion as such.
Unsurprisingly, but thankfully, this also naturally translates into the actual performance and interpretation. Great care is taken with every phrase, every measure, every note: there is no outshining one another, as one sometimes finds in less equally-weighted string quartets. There is never a struggle, only serene accordance and sublime understanding. EPILOGUE truly is a group effort, and it's a spectacle – one which impressively demonstrates that the whole is, in fact, a whole lot more than merely the sum of its individual parts.
Changes for Zephyr Quartet
After 20 years of being at the forefront of experimentation, collaboration and creation of new music, we are announcing some changes.
We are proud of our extensive history and the achievements we have made. We are so pleased to have worked with so many artistic collaborators in such a diverse range of projects over the years. We value the relationships we have with many venues, festivals, presenters, cultural and educational institutions. We are grateful to our peers and governments who have consistently found our work worthy of funding and support.
After much thought and conversation, we have collectively decided to change the way we work as of 2020 and will take a break from initiating Zephyr projects to focus on individual pursuits and special opportunities. We want to make it clear that we will remain available for unique performance projects, invitations and selective collaborations. Individually, we are all committed to the ongoing making of new work and still welcome conversations about how we can participate in the making of new music.
For now, we need a bit of a rest. We have been fortunate to have had the support of funding to develop our audiences and share our work outside of Adelaide and Australia. We have gratefully participated in many invitations to festivals and events around Australia and the world. Other artists will understand that what our audiences see on stage, in that brief moment of live exchange, is just a small part of our work. We rehearse, we write, we arrange, we do administration, we spend time in airports, we do soundchecks, we coordinate schedules, we have other jobs and we have loved ones... we need some time to explore what else is out there for us.
We want to be explicitly clear that this is not goodbye, but farewell for now. We will be releasing information about our performances for the rest of 2019 shortly. We encourage our audiences to catch us while you can at our upcoming concerts and remind you that we have been recording a new album of our work which is due for release on PARMA Records in early 2020. We remain excited about what the future holds for us all.
Help us bring new music to life!
This year, Zephyr has commissioned new works for string quartet from a number of female artists at different stages of their career who work in various musical fields. These included a new work by long-time Zephyr collaborator and one of South Australia’s leading composers Anne Cawrse, a work by our 2019 Featured Emerging Artist, Iran Sanadzadeh and works by some of Adelaide’s most multi-talented music practitioners; Emma Luker, Karen De Nardi and Felicity Freeman.
Zephyr has had a extended history of working with women composers and programming works by female artists and we have done it without a lot of fanfare. However, in the current climate we feel that it’s time to celebrate and promote this as an important thing that we have always done. Conversations are taking place all over the world about this issue, it is a matter that we feel strongly about and, in Australia, we have quietly led the way in providing at least equal opportunities to women artists.
We invite you be a part of an important and significant investment in cultural change. Your donation will go direct to the composers’ commissioning fees and support for the creation of new Australian works by contemporary women composers. Your contribution can help work towards creating change in the Australian cultural landscape where gender equity is the tip of the iceberg.
We believe that diverse composers create diverse narratives. We believe that to truly reflect the 21st Century we need to encourage more voices to help create greater symphonies.
Iran Sanadzadeh - 2019 Featured Emerging Artist
We are thrilled to announce our 2019 Featured Emerging Artist - Iran Sanadzadeh. We're looking forward to working with Iran, getting to know her and premiering a new piece of hers later on in the year.
Hailing from Iran, based now in Adelaide, Iran is a musician and composer whose work explores the relationship between space and movement as they relate to sound, and the way our casual listening to the world around us is affected by particularities of who we are. She collaborates with artists from a variety of disciplines and has performed in Tehran, New York, and Adelaide. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate, studying the sound of the Japanese koto.
Performing 'Music in Anticlockwise' at Classical:NEXT!
Thrilled to announce that we have been selected from a highly competitive field to perform a showcase of Music in Anticlockwise with Hong Kong artist Gaybird at the world's biggest classical music conference, Classical:NEXT, in Rotterdam in May. We will be one of three Australian acts performing at the event.
We won an award!
So, last night we won an award! The UNESCO City of Music Best International Collaboration for our 2017 OzAsia Festival show 'Music in Anticlockwise' with GayBird! Thanks to Joe Mitchell for making this project happen and to Music SA for a great night celebrating the wealth and diversity of talent in South Australia.
'Aspirations' - new album release
The long awaited release Aspirations, our original soundtrack to Brink Production's The Aspirations of Daise Morrow - a word-for-word adaptation of Patrick White's short story 'Down at the dump'. Delighted to joined by actors Lucy Lehman and James Smith who will read excerpts from the show amongst the music. You can find the album at your favourite music outlet!
We'll be touring this work with Brink Productions in Australia and Europe in 2018 - catch it if you can!
Windmill - String Quartets by Stephen Whittington - Album release
Today marks the official release date of a new album of string quartets by Stephen Whittington on Cold Blue Music played by us.
We are thrilled that the recording has been gathering accolades including:
“The playing of the Zephyr Quartet is as miraculous as the recording is superb. No strangers to Whittington’s music, the group is immersed in every detail, every hairpin dynamic shift and every overtonal unison. They embody perfectly the unity and diversity so important to Whittington’s compositions. This is one of the finest string quartet discs I’ve heard since the Kronos Quartet waxed Terry Riley’s Salome Dances for Peace, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.” — Marc Medwin, Fanfare magazine
“The playing by the Zephyr Quartet here is mesmerizing and completely convincing—Windmill is wonderfully vivid musical image that completely captures its subject.” —Paul Muller, Sequenza21
"This composition (From a Thatched Hut) allows the Zephyr Quartet to showcase their talents, in particular their self-control and ability to inject a large amount of feeling into a small space." Richard Allen, a closer listen
Zephyr Quartet nominated for an APRA/AMCOS Art Music Award
We are thrilled to be finalists in the Art Music Awards in the category of Excellence by an Organisation for performances, collaborations, commissions and recordings in 2016.
Congrats to all the finalists across the award categories, there are a bunch of amazing artists who we're really proud to have worked with, including Cat Hope, Ross McHenry, Paul Stanhope and Adelaide Chamber Singers who we wish all the very best of luck.
Thanks to APRA AMCOS and Australian Music Centre for hosting the ceremony on August 22nd! Can't wait...
Mentorship Opportunity: New Music Network's LAB
Opening the door to experimental and art music through concept development, mentoring and participative process.
Zephyr Quartet seeks expressions of interest for projects from emerging South Australian composers and sound artists to be mentored by Zephyr Quartet under New Music Network Australia’s national mentoring program LAB.
The NMN creates connections between emerging and established new music artists to support creative action, backed up by the promotion and marketing of the existing network infrastructure.
Teams of emerging and established artists will be working together to deliver a performance, workshop, installation or experience.
The projects can use a variety of spaces/settings and can have a flexible public outcome to suit the needs of the artists, for example a public rehearsal, a showing of a work in progress, a performance, an installation, a public/audience engagement experience etc.
The successful group/artist will work with Zephyr Quartet to develop a program of mentoring to suit their needs and benefit their project, receive $1,000 from NMN to go towards their project and receive national publicity about their project through NMN.
Emerging artists are defined as being in the first five years of their professional practice.
Download the information form here. Expressions of interest are due by 23rd September, 2016 for a project to be completed by March 31st, 2017.
zephyrROM album launch
This Monday, 16 May, Zephyr Quartet joins forces with the brilliant voiceROM to perform two sets of original material for string quartet, samples and drums at COMA at the Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide.
The album, VoiceQuartet, is now available via bandcamp, and will be available for purchase at the door. Doors at 7.45pm, $15 or $8 for COMA members.
Exquisite Corpse - world premiere
After a year of gathering compositions from twelve composers between Australia and the USA, months of anticipation over the drawings (see a sneak peek above) and animations created by our collaborating artists Jo Kerlogue and Luku, and just over a week of bringing it all together, we're nearly ready to unleash the magnificent beast that is Exquisite Corpse as part of the Adelaide Festival.
Join us for the Exquisite Corpse fundraiser party at The Wheaty!
By now we hope you've heard that we are super excited to have our very own show in the Adelaide Festival next year, Exquisite Corpse.
To support the commissioning of this massive piece we need to raise some money - so we're having a party and you're invited!
Daise Morrow's last days
We've been enjoying performing in Brink Productions' critically acclaimed season of The Aspirations of Daise Morrow. There are just three shows left, with a matinee added for Saturday due to popular demand. The world premiere season ends Saturday night. Tickets are still available for all remaining sessions. Book at BASS.
Here's what people have said about our contribution: