Over the past 5 years or more it has been such a pleasure to work with Marita Dyson and Stuart Flanagan of The Orbweavers. The single, Momento Mori, which we released today was originally on released on The Orbweavers’ 2011 EP Japanese Mountain/Spotswood.
Marita has these beautiful words to say about this song:
“Momento Mori was written about silkworms, known as Bombyx mori, in latin, named after the mulberry genus Morus / Mori, on which they exclusively feed. Silkworms spin a cocoon of continuous silken thread at pupal stage, before breaking from the cocoon to emerge as a white moth. Silkworm cocoons have been used to manufacture silk fabric and embroidery thread for thousands of years. To harvest the silk as a continuous thread, cocoons are usually plunged into boiling water before the moths have a chance to emerge. This was a sobering realisation, and changed the way we felt about the silk clothes we possess, a humbling reminder of the many moth lives that contributed to them. The song title is a reference to the latin expression ‘memento mori’, a western artistic motif and theme, translating as ‘remember you will die’, substituting ‘momento’ Italian for moment, and retaining ‘mori’ latin for both death, and the scientific name for the mulberry plant genus. Death is prescient in the western naming of a moth and plant, whose lives are intertwined.” – Marita Dyson
You can listen to the original version of Momento Mori HERE.
and our loving tribute HERE.
Tina Del Twist has a voice as smooth as honey and a comedic wit that could shred brie. This gin-soaked velvet draped madame has featured on ABCTV's Comedy Up Late, performed acclaimed seasons with Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne & Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Darwin Festival, Perth FringeWORLD and accepted invitations to perform in Sydney, Copenhagen, Berlin, Edinburgh, and New York.
Wes Snelling is an award winning cabaret artiste, performance-maker, actor, singer, comedian, writer, director, producer, radio presenter, production/stage/tour manager and mentor. Hailing from Kyneton, his home-grown performances have seen him tour throughout Australia, Denmark, Germany, Indonesia, South Korea, the UK and USA. Wes has featured on ABC TV (Interviews/Comedy UpLate), Network Ten and the Comedy Channel. Radio credits include co-hosting ABC 774’ s The Conversation Hour, and numerous appearances on RRR, Joy 94.9 and PBS.
Wes is the brains and bones behind his eccentric Aunt Tina's stardom/lifestyle. We managed to get them in the same room and sat them down for a little chat ahead of Tina performing with TLSQ in Silly Season at the Kew Court House Sat 2 December 2017.
When did you first meet and what were your first impressions of each other?
Tina: Well I met Wes at birth. His birth, not mine, he is my nephew so that would be odd, but not impossible I guess. Anyway, it was actually the day after his birth that I saw him for the first time. He was a chubby glowing thing. Or was that your brothers birth Wes? Oh who knows or cares, do you have any more wine? This glass ain’t gonna fill itself!
Wes: My first real memory of Aunt Tina was when I was 9 she took me behind our old garden shed and showed me how to roll a joint.
Tina: Well you have to learn sometime. No one wants to smoke a flacid doob. You know Wes your mother always said she was expecting a girl because she was experiencing wild mood swings, breakouts and oily skin, excessive morning sickness and was carrying quite high. But it turns she was just giving birth to a bohemian.
On Saturday October 28th, 2017, TLSQ will be performing their show Video Sonic Quartet at The Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre. The show includes work with video by members of the quartet and video artists Megan Evans, Sal Cooper and Anne Scott Wilson. There is also a premiere by composer Alice Humphries. Alice was the winner of the Melbourne Recital Centre 2016 Composition Commission and we were incredibly lucky and honoured to be chosen by her to perform her new piece, Nautical Twilight. In Q & A below Alice goes into detail about the writing of this piece and also gives us an insight into her life as a musician and surfer!
Get your tickets for the show here.
Find out more about Alice's music here.
When did you know that you wanted to be a musician?
I didn’t actually plan to! After high school I did a one-year course in jazz at WAAPA as a gap year, and it has just continued. I was having so much fun I just decided to keep doing it.
What was your first instrument?
My first instrument was piano, I think I was 3 when I started. Mum said I used to make things up and get really into it and drool on the piano keys. Nothing has changed.
I went on to play cello for a few years, dabbled in violin and viola and then took up saxophone in high school.
What is the strangest music gig/job that you’ve done?
I was the music director on an Australian-idol style reality tv-show that was on community tv. It was definitely strange.
What is the strangest non-music job you’ve ever done?
In my first summer after finishing school, my brother and I worked in a recycling factory sorting the glass and the paper from the general trash. It was very hot and very smelly, but it paid well. I have been very diligent about what I put in the recycling bin ever since.
Now I work in a surf shop in between my music commitments. It’s great.
Tell us about the music you have composed for TLSQ:
It’s for string quartet and fixed media. I asked TLSQ to come into the studio and individually recorded them playing a few gestures and notes and a lot of harmonics. I then manipulated those string sounds to make the fixed media part.
I’m really into writing music based on aspects of natural phenomena. I love the ocean and getting out of the city and it gives me an excuse to do that while ‘composing’. The piece is called Nautical Twilight. At twilight there is this overall sense stillness, the light changes slowly. But on a micro level there is lots of busyness and activity. Crepuscular animals and insects become active at twilight. So I took aspects of this and the concept of macro slow change with micro activity and applied it to the music. The harmony moves really slowly, but there is a lot of interaction and activity within the ensemble. I had a lot of fun making the score. There are aspects of improvisation and it really requires the ensemble to listen and interact. I wrote it especially for TLSQ as they do this kind of music so beautifully.