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Ensemble Liaison: Feeling the Beat of the Drums

Ensemble Liaison: Feeling the Beat of the Drums

Classical mavericks Ensemble Liaison are known for pushing the boundaries of performance. The acclaimed ensemble’s June concert in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall – a long-awaited return – sees this innovative band join forces with master percussionist David Jones. We spoke to Ensemble Liaison to gain an insight into the thrilling program and inspiration behind it.  

What inspired your collaboration with drummer extraordinaire David Jones?

Ensemble Liaison (EL): We first collaborated with David back in 2011. We were introduced to him by our mutual friend Tony Gould, who has an incredible gift for bringing together like-minded musicians. Our Ensemble Liaison & Friends series has always been about collaborating with a diverse range of musicians and artists from a range of disciplines. We were keen to expand our horizons and we knew that working with David Jones in a more improvised interaction would be a fresh and inspiring opportunity to try new things. Ten years on we decided that a reunion was long overdue, and we are very much looking forward to this collaboration.

David Jones Drummer

This program spans eras, genres and geographic borders. What’s the common thread?

EL: The common thread is music we can play with David Jones! His talents are so unique and diverse that they allow us to program music from almost any era or style. Some of the works include a part for drums, but others will be created by David during the rehearsal process. Nothing is performed the same way twice. 

Why did you decide to commission a new work from Hugh Crosthwaite? 

EL: Most of the music on the program has been arranged in some way, so we really wanted to create a new work written especially for us. During our discussions with David Jones, we decided that Hugh would be the perfect choice for this occasion. David had worked with Hugh in the past and felt that he would be able to capture the essence of our unique combination of instruments.  

What do you enjoy about Hugh Crosthwaite’s music?

EL: We love the rhythmic vitality, the virtuosity and his ability to reflect on the current times through his music. We have also enjoyed the collaborative approach he takes in his compositional process. We can’t wait to get together with David and Hugh to bring this new work to life.

You’re kicking off the performance with an improvisation. Is this new for you?

EL: We love pushing our musical boundaries. Although improvisation isn’t something we tend to do often, we’ve found that collaborating with David inspires us to leave our comfort zone and explore things that we never thought were possible. This will be our second improvisation ever. The first opened our concert with David back in 2011 – we just had to do it again! 

This is your first concert back in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall for some time. How does it feel?

EL: We are incredibly delighted to be back in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall. It has been our home since 2010. To us, performing on that wonderful stage feels just as cosy and familiar as playing for friends in our living room. It is special place where we have created countless musical memories, collaborating with brilliant artists such as Anthony Marwood, Ray Chen, Henning Kraggerud, Nemanja Radulović, James Crabb, Emma Matthews, Greta Bradman and many more. After the pause of 2020, we can’t wait to continue to share our musical passions with our loyal, appreciative and enthusiastic fans. We’ve missed them so much!

Ensemble Liaison performs its eclectic and unmissable program with David Jones on Friday 11 June at 7pm. Click here to book now.

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