Concert Review: Straits Times, Lifestyle

21st Dec 2015

Compelling Universe of Colour

Channel NewAsia, Singapore Tonight

17th Dec 2015, 10:00pm

Building Bridges Through Music

Concert Preview: Straits Times Lifestyle

17th Dec 2015

SG50 music closes the year

Sneak Concert Preview

OUR ISLAND HOME: An Australia-Singapore Friendship Concert

3 October 2015, 7:00pm

Bridges Collective: A chamber ensemble that promotes cross-cultural engagement between Australia and the Asia-Pacific region

MELBOURNE, September 14 2015 – As a part of continuing efforts to promote intercultural engagement and understanding, Bridges Collective will host a multi-media concert ‘Our Island Home’ at Deakin Edge, Federation Square. This concert celebrates a special milestone – 2015 marks 50 years of friendship between the people of Australia & Singapore as well as Singapore’s 50th anniversary as a young nation state.

In an ongoing journey to help people connect across cultural divides and to show that cultures can co-exist harmoniously through the shared making of music, Bridges Collective has brought together a multi-racial, multi-cultural 8-piece fusion ensemble of Singaporeans and Australians for this project. The ensemble has commissioned 2 suites by Singaporean composers with deep intercultural experience –John Sharpley and Bernard Tan. This special combination of instruments and sounds commemorates both the special diversity of Singapore as a migrant nation and also its unique position as the crossroads of East and West. It also hints at the sound of a possible future for Australia as an increasingly diverse multicultural nation.

“I want to give audiences the opportunity to hear how composers have expressed their multi-cultural experiences and journeys through their music. And we are thrilled that in this concert series, the audience is not just going to be able to hear sounds from difference cultures but to actually “see” multiculturalism at work -  both through the ensemble and through the work of our photographer who will be screening images from both countries.”

Australian Founder and Artistic Director, Brenna Wee

“This concert celebrates the special history of friendship between Australia and Singapore through medleys of popular folk and national songs which capture something of the voice and experiences of ordinary Australians and Singaporeans. And more broadly, because Australia and Singapore share unique parallels in how they evolved into cosmopolitan multicultural nations, all the music and programming draws upon the experience of both cities to explore artistically the meaning of home – what it means and how it is built – for implanted multicultural migrant nations such as ours.

Singapore-born Founder and Director of Communications, Alex Serrenti

‘Our Island Home’ will be performed by Shen Pangeng (erhu – ethnic Chinese), Jay Dabgar (tabla – ethnic Indian), as fully integrated members of a traditional Western ensemble: Karen Heath (clarinet), Cameron Jamieson (violin), Noella Yan (Artistic Co-Director, cello), Brenna Wee (piano) and Callum Moncrieff (percussion). It will be accompanied by a visual presentation curated by Alex Serrenti. The program will feature the world premieres of the two commissioned pieces by Singapore composers John Sharpley and Bernard Tan. It will also showcase medley arrangements of national/folk songs of Singapore and Australia by Mohamad Rasull and Brett Rosenberg and works by Australian composers Paul Stanhope and Stuart Greenbaum. The ensemble will be joined by Singaporean guest conductor Adrian Tan, in Sharpley’s Singapore Suite and the medleys.

Bridges collective performed in August at the Singapore-Australia Friendship Commemorative event in Parliament House (Canberra), and will also present the ‘Our Island Home’ concert in Singapore and Malaysia in December 2015. This concert series marks the extension of its cultural exchange programme into Singapore, 1°N (One Degree North), and a continuation of its existing highly successful ‘Encounters’ programme in Malaysia.

I loved the principle behind the programming. Most of all I enjoyed the complete unexpectedness of it all - the different influences and backgrounds, the mix of new and old, of less well-known composers and more established ones.

-  Margaret Crawford, Artist in Residence, Australian National Academy of Music; Lecturer (Flute), VCA & MCM.

An ensemble that has a “dedication to vocal and instrumental colour”.     - Clive O’Connell, The Age

Photos Canberra concert, Sharpley’s “Singapore Suite”:

For more information and interviews please contact: Brenna Wee, JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING , +61 407 934 810+61 407 934 810


Our Island Home Trailer


Past Releases and Reviews

Review of Encounters 2014 concert at the Russian Centre of  Science and Culture

Press Release for Encounters 2014

Media Release for Under an Eastern Sky, Dec 2013

Media Release for Alamkara, June 2013

Media Release for Jazz Liaisons, Dec 2012

Media Release for Persian Liaisons, Aug 2012

Media Release for Malaysian Liaisons, March 2012

Preview in The Age, Voice supplement, March 2012: Encounters: Malaysian Liaisons

Review in The Age, Entertainment, 27th March 2012, by Clive O'Connell

"... the Encounters exercise served its main purpose of showing connections between living composers from the two countries, demonstrating a dedication to vocal and instrumental colour."  Read more...

Radio Interviews

ABC Radio Australia, 13 March 2012: A Malaysian's take on Mozart.   Listen ...


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