ACA Composers

Thank you to all of our composers and friends of ACA for a great year.

Flying Robot Rockstars

November 18, 2014


KMel Robotics presents a team of flying robots that have taken up new instruments to play some fresh songs. The hexrotors create music in ways never seen before, like playing a custom single string guitar hooked up to an electric guitar amp. Drums are hit using a deconstructed piano action. And there are bells. Lots of bells.

Many thanks to Lockheed Martin and Intel Corporation for their support.

See this show and more live at the USA Science & Engineering Festival on April 26 & 27 in Washington, D.C.
Lockheed Martin in the founding and presenting sponsor of the festival.

KMel Robotics (
Video Produced and Directed by Kurtis Sensenig (
Music Arrangement and Sound Design by Dan Paul (
KMel Engineering Team:
Jonathan Davis, Cameron Dube, Alex Kushleyev, Daniel Mellinger, Igor Rusanov, Timur Rusanov, Travis Van Schoyck

KP percussionist Angus Wilson caught up with clarinettist Nick Harmsen, who will be performing with the ensemble in Brett Dean’s sextet Old Kings in Exile this Friday at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. Here’s what he had to say.

Angus Wilson: Hi Nick, welcome to your debut performance with Kupka’s Piano! We are thrilled to have you on board for ‘Modern Music in Exile’. What excites you the most about performing in this concert with Kupka’s Piano?

Nick Harmsen: I’ve been a fan of Brett Dean’s music ever since I first played some of his works for larger orchestral combinations like Beggars and Angels.  Playing new, recently written music by excellent composers is always a thrill but Brett’s Australian connection makes his music even more appealing – he’s a friendly face who’s popped up over the years at concerts where I’ve been playing his music and he’s always so encouraging and embodies everything that’s good about classical music. One of the great things about playing music is working with different musicians – everybody goes about it in a different way – and watching what certain personalities can create together is always fascinating and sometimes really uplifting.  Other times it doesn’t work so well and you learn a lot from that.  And I’ve heard around town that you are bunch of guys who are really passionate about bringing life to new music which is a vital part of keeping music making alive.

AW: The centerpiece of this concert is Dean’s Old Kings in Exile. As a musician who’s played several of his works before (including one earlier this year), what interests you about his work and what has been your experience performing it?

NH: Earlier this year I played a trio by Brett Dean for piano, viola and clarinet called Night Window.  As the title suggests it’s all about dreams and nightmares.  It’s extremely difficult to get together.  It is often rhythmically very intricate.  However it also has sections which are slow and expressive.  Contrasting with that it has other sections which are jazz influenced and others have virtuosic cadenzas.  In the orchestral pieces I’ve played of his I’ve noticed too that he’s not afraid to push the boundaries of possibilities and experiment whilst importantly keeping a really strong sense of a piece as a whole which I think is very important.

AW: On top of being an awesome Bass Clarinettist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, word is on the street that you also pursue other musical ventures including composing. Can you tell us a little bit about some of your recent compositions?

NH: I don’t really consider myself a composer, but occasionally I have dabbled with it.  The last piece I wrote was for two ocarinas, and before that a piece for bass clarinet, vibraphone, irish whistle, gong and kalimba.  I also play occasionally with a bush band on banjo.

AW: You mentioned during a rehearsal a few weeks ago that you were a part of a charity concert raising funds for the continued relief and support of tsunami affected people in Japan. Could you tell us more about this?

NH: It seemed immediately after the tsunami first hit Japan in 2011 it was constantly in the news.  However now we hear about it very little.  The problem has not just gone away – people are still trying to repair the damage, and to get their lives back on the rails.  And the effects of the leakage of nuclear waste from Fukushima may be felt for many many years to come. I wrote a piece which I performed in this recent benefit concert based on a story of a 93 year old woman who lived in Fukushima with her family.  After the nuclear plant was damaged in the tsunami her family decided to flee Fukushima to find a safer area to live.  The woman decided to stay in Fukushima – she was old and frail and couldn’t fathom the idea of leaving the place she had such a deep connection with.  However eventually she committed suicide because she was so devastated about what had happened to her home town and the break it had caused with her family.

AW: Finally what projects have you got coming up? Any performances with your brilliant significant other percussionist Nozomi Omote? Will the Brahms Quintet get another outing? Will we get to hear a concert of all Harmsen works in the near future? Where can our audience hear you next?

NH: Anyone wanting to hear fairly ordinary renditions of some great Chad Morgan, Paul Kelly and Red Gum classics should camp outside my window in the next week or so.  Failing that, Nozomi is working on the follow up concert to her extremely successful Marimba Galaxy!

Living Symphonies

June 9, 2014

nature video·186 videos

Living Symphonies is a sound installation which aims to portray a forest ecosystem in an ever changing soundscape – reflecting, in real time, the interactions of the natural world. In this film, Nature Video takes a peek under the hood of Living Symphonies, at the science which makes it possible; and asks how projects like these could influence the way that both the public and scientists see with the world around them.

Read a Q&A with sound artist Daniel Jones:…

Find out more about the project:

Salvo Cracchiolo·6 videos


The Nouveau Classical Project·3 videos

Video by Yu Nakajima, Retsu Motoyoshi, Seung Woo, Sydney Chun / Edited by Yu Nakajima

The first movement of Arnold Schoenberg’s ‘Pierrot Lunaire.’ Live recording. ‘Sweet Lost Pierrot’ on December 7, 2012 at Gallery Korea.

The Nouveau Classical Project: Amanda Gregory, soprano / Amelia Lukas, flute / Marina Kifferstein, violin / Rose Bellini, cello / Sugar Vendil, piano

Special Guests: Kyle Ritenauer, conductor / Mara Mayer, clarinets

Clocks In Motion·27 videos

Dave Alcorn and Sean Kleve perform Filippo Santoro’s Duplum (2012).

The idea for this work arose some time ago while I was studying Berio’s Sequenzas and the musical grammar of the works of Franco Donatoni. The word Duplum carries multiple connotations that extend beyond its primary meaning, i.e., adding one voice to another that already exists. Duplum is semantically connected to the Latin word duplicare (meaning “to duplicate”). Through this connection, it also conveys the idea of something in nature that grows, proliferates, and changes into something else but maintains structural relation with its origin. Duplum is conceived in sections which I refer to as panels. In each panel there is a reiteration of “figure” (figures) that are characterized by sound, rhythmic articulation and gesture, and that are passed from one instrument to another, eventually evolving into other figure. The way in which panels follow each other with relations of either similarity or opposition generates the form of this work and is analogous to modularity in painting, which is sometimes described as the integration of partially independent and interacting units. – Filippo Santoro

Bora Yoon·19 videos

“O Viridissima Virga” (Hail, O’ Greenest Branch), an antiphon chant by Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), newly arranged and innovated with modern day instruments and found sounds. The piece, using voice, organ, piano, Buddabox II, turntable, cell phone, chimestix, cups and diamonds, is performed within New York’s Church of the Ascension with Reykjavik’s Bedroom Community mates Ben Frost (organ) and Paul Corley (piano), Hilary Ryon & Karen Goldfeder (cups & diamonds). Finale performance of ( (( PHONATION )) ) record release, November 20th, 2008. Costume design by Ruth Pongstaphone & Joshua Schwartz of 2017.

mocadvideo·178 videos

pianovocals88·20 videos

This piece was dedicated to the victims of the nuclear explosion in the city of Chernobyl, Ukraine. Larysa Kuzmenko was my theory instructor, and she was more than glad to give me ideas when I told her I wanted to perform this piece. This piece is extremely disturbing both aurally and emotionally, conveying the truly harrowing picture of a nuclear holocaust. My contemporary music repertoire is still limited, but this is definitely a favourite. 🙂

Chase Jackson·14 videos

Chase Jackson Vocabularies Project – “Frigid”
Chase Jackson: Vibraphone, Compositions & Arrangements
Boris Popadiuk: Cello
Carrie Frey: Viola
Cory Todd: Bass
Danielle Wilson: Violin
David Diongue: Alto Saxophone
Elizabeth Cooke: Violin
Patrick Graney: Percussion
Tasiaeafe Hiner: Flute
Zoe Sorrell: Flute

“Frigid” Composed by Chase Jackson
Video Edited by Chase Jackson
Videographers: Linus Ignatius, Zach Jamieson, Valerie Perczek
Audio Mixed by Chase Jackson
Audio Recorded by Emma Hadden, James Vitz-Wong

NothingIncarnate2·29 videos

Liquid Tension Experiment performing “When the Water Breaks” live on their reunion tour at the Downey Theatre in Downey, California on June 27th, 2008. This is taken from a true HD source – the Blu-ray Disc of the concert which was only available as part of the LTE Live 2008 Limited Edition Box Set (which has long been out of print). To order the DVD version of this complete show, go here:…

For best quality, view at 1080p.

Liquid Tension Experiment is:

Tony Levin – Chapman Stick, bass
John Petrucci – guitars
Mike Portnoy – drums
Jordan Rudess – keyboards

Paul Andrews·129 videos

an intimate listen to two australian greats.
Peter Rechniewski says;
Paul and others, in the interests of historical accuracy please note that the above clip is not Jazz Co-op. It is a duo of Roger Frampton and Phil Treloar in a special performance for the Australian docu-drama about Australian modern jazz called “Beyond El Rocco” filmed between 1987 and 1991. The above clip was filmed in a “wharehouse” setting where several sequences/performances took place including one on a set which recreated the interior of the original El Rocco.

Not all the musical sequences were included in the finished cut and the ones that were, were not there in their entirety so the film makers decided to package all the music for sale in 3 separate volumes.

Epogdous·695 videos


Johns Hopkins·627 videos…. Composer and Peabody Conservatory faculty, Oscar Bettison, redefines traditional music with wrenches, tuning forks, and junk percussion known as “Cinderella Instruments”. Conventional instruments have been altered, retuned, or otherwise manipulated to extend their sound possibilities. Searching for new sounds and the new expressive capabilities inherent within traditional instruments has become a primary force in Bettison’s work.

Read “Bang On” at…

azexperiment·169 videos