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Josie & the Emeralds: Music in this stillness

18 April 2018 @ 7:30 am - 8:30 pm AEST

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 am on Wednesday, repeating until 9 May 2018


Music in this stillness is a series of 5 concerts inspired by The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. Late medieval and early Renaissance music by Guillaume de Machaut, Guillaume Du Fay and Gilles Binchois features, along with premieres of new Australian compositions by Moya Henderson, Alice Chance, Bree van Reyk, Victoria Pham, Amanda Cole and Brooke Green.

Performers include: Bree van Reyk, organetto; Josie Ryan and Amy Moore, sopranos; Elizabeth Rumsey, viola d’arco; Brooke Green, vielle, treble viol; Fiona Ziegler, Catherine Upex and Alice Chance, viols.

The contemporary compositions incorporate the little-known medieval instrument, the organetto or portative organ which is depicted in the tapestry representing the sense of hearing. With only 20 keys, this tiny instrument produces an enchanting sound. Made in the 1980s by Ronald Sharp, builder of the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, it has been generously loaned by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences for this project.


Concert 1 | Wednesday 11 April | Moya Henderson: The hem of her dress, a fanfare for solo organetto. One of Australia’s most eminent composers, Moya is perhaps best known for her 1997 opera, Lindy, about the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain in 1980.

Concert 2 | Wednesday 18 April | Alice Chance: Ça va bien, a happy blues for soprano, organetto, treble and bass viols. Here, the composer depicts The Lady as self-sufficient and quite content, luxuriating in her paradise garden.

Concert 3 | Wednesday 25 April | Victoria Pham: A Aurore, for soprano, organetto, viola d’arco and bass viol. Dedicated to George Sand whose words “shaped with colour and woven with threads of The Lady and The Unicorn’s burgundy and amber” inspired the music for this work.

Concert 4 | Wednesday 2 May | Brooke Green: Le Miroir et La Licorne (The Mirror and The Unicorn) for soprano, organetto, and vielle: a palindrome that incorporates the enigmatic phrase that appears in the last tapestry, Mon seul desir (here translated as My sole desire).

Concert 5 | Wednesday 9 May | New works for organetto and Josie and the Emeralds by contemporary Australian composers.

Curated by Jason Catlett, with performances led by Music Director Brooke Green, this project is made possible by an anonymous donation to the Art Gallery Foundation in memory of Steven Alward, a patron of both the visual arts and new music.



Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Art Gallery Rd
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia
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