The new and architecturally exquisite Melbourne Recital Centre has graced Melbourne’s Southbank arts precinct. The world-class venue boasts some of the best acoustics in the world and a singular devotion to acoustic, chamber as well as traditional and contemporary art music.
Dr. Jacques de Vos Malan, the Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of Artistic Advisory Group was brimming with excitement when speaking to Neos Kosmos English Edition (NKEE), “I am very excited, as it is rare that a venue like this is built in the Asian Pacific arena. While you may have similar venues built in Europe and North America, but throughout Asia there are lots of concert halls, but not recital halls.”
He added, “This is an intimate space which assists to enhance the communication between audience and performers. They say watching a quarter in the Hammer Hall is like watching table tennis in the Rod Laver Arena.”
Dr Vos Malan is keen to point out that cultural diversity is a key focus for programming in the centre, “When I came from Adelaide I had a brief meeting with the then Premier Bracks who was keen to highlight that the centre be opened to all the diverse communities of Melbourne.”
“We live in a multicultural city and that is the only way to go. We will seek to attempt to promote many communities’ art and traditional music if there is Rebetica then they should be in here” he added.
As part of the celebrations of the new recital centre the music of one of Greek contemporary composer Xenakis will be performed by one of Ausrtalia’s leading exponents of Xenakis contemporary music and soundscapes Lawrence Harvey on Tuesday 24.
Iannis Xenakis was a Greek modernist composer, musical theoretician and architect who resided much of his life in Paris. He is regarded as a significant and prevailing contemporary composer of the 20th century particularly in melding of mathematics and sound composition. Xenakis pioneered electronic, computer music, the application of mathematics, statistics and physics to music and music theory. Australian Lawrence Harvey, composer, producer and curator of large-scale electroacoustic works for concerts and installations, has worked on projects in music, theatre, dance and virtual reality, using spatial sound systems. Harvey’s affair with the music of Xenakis began early in the mid 1990s with his curatorial debut The Reflective Space, in 1996, a series of ten electroacoustic concerts in Melbourne.
Dr Vos Malan is aware of the stature of both Harvey and Xenakis; “Harvey is one of Australia’s most prolific sound artists and best exponent of Xenakis. And Xenakis is not performed often enough here and he is one of the most important 20th Century contemporary composers and his politics are profoundly interesting.”
Xenakis was in the Resistance in WWII against the Nazis, then fought with the left wing Partisans of ELAS against the British backed right wing government of Greece in the Greek Civil War, he sustained an injury from a British shell, blinding him in one eye. He was in imposed exile in France where he was sentenced to death in absentia.
Xenakis’ Electro acoustic works 1 include Gendy 3 (1991) Andromeda (1989) Hibiki-Hanna-Ma (1969) performed by Lawrence Harvey, will be presented by Melbourne Recital Centre Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 10:30 pm