New Music Days: ELISION – Extinction Events & Dawn Chorus

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New Music Days: ELISION – Extinction Events & Dawn Chorus

Future-focused, thoughtfully curated and artist centric.

New Music Days is a burgeoning three-day festival and the latest offering in experiential programming, bursting forth into the collective sphere of the new and exciting.

Each performance at New Music Days presents budding ideas that facilitate broader social and political discussion. In its inaugural year, the festival focuses on the importance of First Nations composers, voices and stories, how musicians compose and respond to the environment, and the work of female composers in Australia.

Featuring five bold events across three days, audiences will have the opportunity to not only bask in the delight of live music, but to go deeper, engaging in public conversations through pre and post-concert talks.


ELISION is celebrated for its unique instrumentation, close and long-term artistic relationships with composers, its virtuosity and the deep commitment of its musicians to renegotiate and re-invent performance practice and technique.

Their performance in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall as part of New Music Days 2023 presents virtuosic new sounds from one of the world’s leading new music groups. Featuring works by the inimitable Liza Lim, Mary Bellamy and Aaron Cassidy, this thought-provoking program explores pertinent environmental issues of our time, celebrating the world premiere of Aaron Cassidy’s new piano concerto.

Liza Lim’s composition Extinction Events & Dawn Chorus is a major Australian work that has resonated decisively with ensembles and audiences all over the world. It contemplates the vast conglomerations of plastic trash circulated in the world’s ocean currents, eventually ground into toxic fragments that sediment on remote islands and within the fish we eat. Liza has made a music out of relics of the past – a coarse sampling of ‘extinction events’ ranging from the spectral echoes of a creaking 19th century piano music, to a faulty transcription of a recording of the last mating call ever heard of the now extinct Kauai O’o bird.

Mary Bellamy’s Enveloped uses two seemingly quite different instruments, the cello and contrabass recorder, to forge a new whole, a new sonic identity. The work is made up of imaginary dialogues and points of connection and disconnection.

The piano concerto conjures images of white tie and tails, it conjures images of Brahms, maybe of Schumann or Tchaikovsky. This is not that! Scored for an unusual ensemble including recorders, harp and a pedal steel guitar Aaron Cassidy’s concerto has been especially written for solo pianist Alex Waite who brings iridescent brilliance to creating this world premiere.