A song and dance for aspiring composers

New music, exquisite choreography and exhilarating live performances – welcome to Converge, the first collaboration between theQueensland Conservatorium Griffith Universityand Expressions Dance Company (EDC).

Composition students from the Queensland Conservatorium have collaborated with EDC ensemble members Jake McLarnon and Richard Causer to create a stunning soundtrack for their choreography.

An ensemble of twelve musicians will perform the works live on stage in the stunning Conservatorium Theatre – featuring a string and wind quintet, piano and percussion.

Empowering young musicians

Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said he was pleased to collaborate with EDC.

“This is our first venture into contemporary dance, and we hope it is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with Expressions Dance Company,” he said.

“The project is unique in its inception, with choreographer and composer working side by side to create a shared vision, all brought to life by the brilliance of the dancers and musicians.

“Giving emerging artists the opportunity to showcase their talents sits at the heart of what we do – it’s all about empowering musicians to find their place on the world stage.”

Collaboration pushes students to new heights

Undergraduate composer Isabella Gerometta is completing a Bachelor of Music, majoring in composition. She said the project had given her the opportunity to grow as an artist.

“This project has really pushed me outside my comfort zone – I think that’s the beauty of collaboration, it takes you in a different direction,” she said.

“It has been great to see and hear it all come together after putting so much work into it.”

Postgraduate studentMichal Rosiak, who has just completed a Doctor of Musical Arts, composed his sections of Converge while on tour around Australia with the Chamber Philharmonia Cologne.

“I was composing while I was on the road – on buses, in planes and hotel rooms,” he said.

“I’ve never composed for modern dance before, so this is definitely a first – as a composer, you need to be adaptable, so it’s been a great experience.

“It’s definitely a different type of composing – you have to be careful not to overload the music, and learn how to support the choreography.”

For second-year composition student Jarvis Miller,the project offered a pathway into the music industry.

“This project offered a great chance to network with industry professionals,” he said.

“It is amazing to think that our work will be performed for packed houses over the next week – it’s fantastic exposure.”

Total synergy

EDC ensemble member Jake McLarnon is making his debut as a choreographer with this project, and said the mix of dance, composition and live music had created something special.

“The composers are incredibly talented and a real pleasure to work with, which I think isn’t surprising given the Con’sexceptional reputation,” he said.

“Throughout this whole process it’s been an equal creative partnership. Brainstorming and exploring ideas together from our different artistic perspectives and areas of expertise has produced something special.

“I think that equal partnership is something audiences will notice and appreciate immediately – the dance, the music, the live musicians – it’s a powerful thing to have those art forms and artists fully integrated. It’s total synergy.”

Converge runs from 10 – 17 March at the Queensland Conservatorium, 140 Grey Street, South Bank.Tickets are available throughqtix.