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Elysian Fields: The Scandinavian Project
24 May @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm AEST
Since their first performance three years ago, Elysian Fields, Australia’s only electric viola da gamba band, has carved out a growing reputation for performances that blur the boundaries between jazz, chamber music and world music.
Drawing largely on the compositional and arranging skills of its multitalented members, the six-piece band’s charts shift effortlessly from stately, baroque-like solemnity to multilayered improvisations and driving, pulsating rhythms. And then there is the unique sound of the electric viola da gamba!
On May 24 Elysian Fields will launch their Scandinavian Project which features Scandinavian jazz and folk songs alongside new music inspired by the Nordic World. There will be several world premieres:
- Matt Keegan: two pieces reflecting his time studying in Sweden
- Siebe Pogson: a collection of songs titled “The Tragedy, The Journey and The Destination.”
- Matt McMahon: arrangements of Swedish folk song charts
- Jenny Eriksson: arrangements of some of her favourite Swedish and Norwegian jazz charts
- Susie Bishop – voice and violin
- Matt Keegan – saxophones
- Jenny Eriksson – electric viola da gamba
- Matt McMahon – piano
- Siebe Pogson – bass guitar
- Dave Goodman – drums
The band has many Scandinavian connections: Jenny’s grandfather, Knut Axel Eriksson, was Swedish. She has previously released a critically acclaimed CD of Swedish music with her acoustic ensemble, The Marais Project. Matt Keegan studied in Sweden. Vocalist Susie Bishop sings fluently in Swedish and bass player Siebe Pogson is 1/8th Swedish!
This will be the band’s first Foundry616 performance for 2018, the venue where they played their first gig in 2015.
“Here was a head-spinning dialogue between half a millennium ago and now, and a sound as foreign as dreaming someone else’s dreams. It emanated from Jenny Eriksson’s electric viola da gamba, the only example in Australia.” (John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald May 2017)
“The electric viola da gamba sound combined very well with the soprano and alto saxophones played by Matt Keegan and throughout the program the two instruments often played well-blended duets…this inventive program traversed some widely separated musical styles and was warmly received by the sizable audience.” (Larry Turner, Sounds Like Sydney, January 2017)