Forces in Music - materclasses


Every year, students enrolled in a Performance Lab course (MUSC1707, MUSC1708, MUSC2703, MUSC3705, MUSC3706, MUSC4705) must attend four (4) masterclasses across the year. Each term, three are scheduled and must be registered for in advance.

Please read through the below masterclass descriptions to choose which four you would like to attend and register for them now.

At the end of the year, student attendance will be checked, and students shown to have attended less than 4 across the year, risk failing the course Masterclasses in Term 1, 2019 will appear on your Class Schedule, and will take place on Fridays from 3pm to 5pm in the Robert Webster Building, Studio 334.

Term 1 2019


Week 1, Friday February 22

Douglas Kahn (author)

From Music to Sound to Energy to Music: A Deeper Ecology

If John Cage argued that all sound can be music, and if sound is but one form of energy among others, then what of energies and music?

Douglas Kahn (UNSW Art & Design), with performance by Peter Blamey and interview by Alister Spence

In this lecture Douglas Kahn investigates how composers and artists have engaged the sounds of natural radio, electromagnetic energies of the Earth first heard twenty years before Marconi and discusses the concept of energy music as it applies to contemporary music; including sonic arts, contemporary classical, and free jazz. This provocative lecture raises questions regarding the nature of performance, composition and musical practice. Direct links are also formed between the nature of sounds and energies, and the health of our planet. The lecture will be followed by a performance from Peter Blamey that explores the transduction of electromagnetic energy into sound. An interview and questions will conclude: seeking to link this field of sonic exploration to conventional musical practices.

Douglas Kahn is Professor of Media and Innovation, National Institute for Experimental Arts, UNSW Art & Design. He is an historian and theorist of media arts, sound and music in the arts, energy in the arts, and science in the arts from the late-19th Century to the present, with an emphasis on the traditions of the avant-garde, and experimentalism.

Peter Blamey is a Sydney-based artist and musician. His practice is accomplished with a minimum of means, exploring the interconnected themes of energies and residues: reimagining and recasting our everyday encounters with technologies and the physical world.

Interviewer: Dr Alister Spence, Lecturer at UNSW, School of Arts & Media, improviser and composer.

Register Here - From Music to Sound to Energy to Music: A Deeper Ecology


Week 5, Friday March 22

Elena Kats-Chernin (composer)

Composing in the 21st century: a conversation with Elena Kats-Chernin

A lecture demonstration, conversation, and masterclass by/with one of Australia’s leading composers. Interviewed by John Peterson. Including performances of compositions by UNSW music students.

Elena Kats-Chernin is one of Australia's leading composers. Trained in Moscow, Australia, and Germany, her distinctive idiom reflects her unique personal history Music often combines chiseled rhythmic pulsation with a bittersweet melodic/harmonic language. Diverse output includes operas, orchestral works, chamber and solo pieces, plus music for dance, film, and theatre. Interpreters include Ensemble Modern, Bang on a Can All-Stars, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

‘Her status as one of this country’s most prolific and consistently innovative composers remains unchallenged… [She] appears to achieve the impossible, straddling the two seemingly irreconcilable camps of intellectualism and accessibility.’ - Sydney Morning Herald

Interviewer: Dr John Peterson, Senior Lecturer at UNSW, School of Arts & Media, composer.

Register Here - Composing in the 21st century: a conversation with Elena Kats-Chernin


Week 10, Friday April 26 (*Please Note: This is in week 10 due to Good Friday the week before)

Lisa Moore (New York based Australian pianist)

‘She’s the best kind of contemporary classical musician, one so fearsomely game that she inspires composers to offer her their most wildly unplayable ideas’ (Pitchfork Magazine)

A performance, conversation, and masterclass by/with acclaimed Australian piano player Lisa Moore. Interviewed by Sonya Lifschitz. Including performances by UNSW music students.

The New York Times writes ‘Lisa Moore, an Australian pianist long based in and around New York, has always been a natural, compelling storyteller’ while TimeOut NY describes her as ‘the wonderfully lyrical pianist’. Lisa Moore has ten solo discs (Cantaloupe, Orange Mountain Music, IGM, Bandcamp, Tall Poppies) ranging from Leoš Janáçek to Philip Glass. Her 2016 disc The Stone People (Cantaloupe) – featuring the music of John Luther Adams, Martin Bresnick, Missy Mazzoli, Kate Moore, Frederic Rzewski, and Julia Wolfe – made both The New York Times Top Classical Albums of 2016 list and the 2017 Naxos Critics’ Choice. Lisa Moore has recorded over thirty collaborative discs (Sony, Nonesuch, DG, BMG, New World, ABC Classics, Albany, New Albion, Starkland, Harmonia Mundi). She has performed with a diverse range of musicians and artists – the London Sinfonietta, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York City Ballet, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Steve Reich Ensemble, American Composers Orchestra, So Percussion, Ensemble Signal, Australian Chamber Orchestra, TwoSense, Grand Band, and the Paul Dresher Double Duo.

Interviewer: Dr Sonya Lifschitz, Lecturer at UNSW, School of Arts & Media, pianist.

Register Here - Lisa Moore (New York based Australian pianist)

Term 2 2019

Term 3 2019