New music festival explored for Bendigo

BENDIGO could be poised to host a new music festival if an event on September 30 is successful.

The event will see three major exploratory music acts play at the Old Fire Station with a view to an exploratory music festival in September next year.

Artistic director David Chisholm believes Bendigo is the perfect place in Victoria to host such a festival.

“I think the best festivals I have been to happen in small cities, not big cities,” Mr Chisholm said. “Bendigo is a city with all infrastructure needed along with a beautiful rural setting, I think it’s a perfect host city.

“I don’t want it to be the host that throws its doors open, I want it to really own it.”

Mr Chisholm said the high amount of musical activity and success with things like the Bendigo Blues and Roots Festival and exhibitions at the Bendigo Art Gallery and La Trobe Visual Arts Centre helped show Bendigo as a great venue for events. 

“I like cities that punch above their weight because that’s what I’ve spent my life doing as an artist. It really feels like the right model,” he said.

Exploratory music is a term used to describe a fragmentation of musical styles into one performance.

Mr Chisholm said 40 years ago, the term was known as contemporary music, which now means something different.

“As someone who writes annotated music in that kind of western European classical tradition, we used to call it contemporary music,” he said.“When we talk about contemporary music in classical circles 40 years ago it was to describe how you weren’t bound by one particular set of rules, it was a flowering of many different possibilities of music.

“It’s interesting that (contemporary) is now used in pop music terms, because it basically describes the same thing.”

Mr Chisholm said the term exploratory music came up a few years ago to describe music with electronics. “I think it also empowers audience to think of themselves as explorers rather than a passive audience.

“Classical and exploratory music is heavily interpretive, a lot of modernist music confused the audience that were used to cohesive blocks.”

On September 30, Mr Chisholm will give Bendigo a taste of what to expect from the 2013 festival. Chilean guitarist Mauricia Carrasco, German recorder and accordion duo Windspiel, trumpeter Tristram Williams and trombonist Benjamin Marks will all perform with Mr Chisholm speaking on his vision for the festival.

For information and bookings phone The Capital on 5434 6100. Tickets include a lunch supplied by El Gordo.

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