One day until we leave for tour! As our trip approaches, a lot of people have been asking us why we want to tour South-East Asia so we’re hoping this blog post will help give you a rough idea. But first some news!
Since our last post, we’ve had an intense few weeks preparing for our tour launch in Melbourne which was last Thursday. For future reference, three weeks is maybe not an adequate amount of time to prepare 90 minutes of new music unless you want to have a heart attack. That being said, we got through it and overall the tour launch went quite well! We were pretty happy with the turn-out and the performance had a very friendly and supportive vibe which was really nice. We are still waiting on one of the scores so we’ll premiere that one on tour and will therefore have another new work to share with everyone when we get back! After the tour launch, we also had the chance to perform live on 3MBS FM’s Australian Sounds program and have a bit of a chat about our tour which was fun. The recording will be available online for the next few days and can be accessed here.
Another bit of news, since our last post we were stoked to receive the news that our application for funding from Creative Victoria was successful! We greatly appreciate their support as well as that of the trustees of the Jim Marks Postgraduate Scholarship who also sent some moolah our way. This will definitely make things easier for us and it will also mean that we can add a few extra concerts and cities into the mix. We’re now in talks with a few people and organisations that have been on hold whilst we waited on funding outcomes so stay posted and hopefully we’ll have a few more concert dates going up soon!
As for why South-East Asia, those of you who have had a chat with us about this before probably know we could ramble about it for hours so we’ll try to keep it short and sweet. We’ve had a strong interest in the music and, more generally, contemporary arts of the South-East Asian region for quite a while now and it was this interest (as well as a love for Vietnamese food) that led us to spend about a year living in Hanoi in 2014/15. Whilst the artistic activity of this region is a little more unknown than the well publicised and documented artistic culture of popular European destinations, we think it is every bit as fascinating. Over the years, we’ve discovered some truly fantastic artists and organisations in the region who are pushing boundaries and doing some really amazing stuff. So if you’re ever in South-East Asia, check out some concerts and galleries and hit us up for some suggestions!
We also think that, being Australian, it is important to engage in the artistic culture of some of our nearest geographic neighbours to expand upon opportunities for regular artistic exchange and collaboration. We also think it’s important to show support for artists in a region where funding and support for the arts is often limited. While Australia has relatively strong diplomatic relations with many South-East Asian nations, we feel that artistic relations could be stronger. Our hope is that through doing this tour, we can play a small role in helping Australian artists to discover the huge wealth of diverse, high-quality artistic activity in the region as well as perhaps sparking some interest in Australian arts with the artists and arts workers we meet in South-East Asia.
If you’re interested to learn more about exactly what we’ll be doing, keep an eye on the blog as we’ll post regular updates throughout our trip. We’ll provide plenty of information for those who are interested in learning more about the arts in SE-Asia, information about what we’re up to and who we’re working with and we’re sure there will be a bunch of hilarious stories and mishaps to share as well. As always, feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions. For now, we’d better get packing!