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Summer Ornamentation Academy: A Participant's Perspective

Our third education academy was wonderful - but we thought it would be much more interesting to hear what it was like for a participant! Violist Katie Yap (who also happens to be our VDB Artistic Coordinator, a 2023 Musica Viva Future Maker, and a regular touring member of the ensemble) shared her thoughts with us - thanks Katie!

“Over three glorious nipaluna/Hobart days earlier this week, the Van Diemen’s Band Summer Ornamentation Academy took place. Participants gathered from around the country to open our ears and our minds to new sounds, styles, and musical accents - and in some cases, entirely new notes.

“We were a diverse bunch - with students from as far away as Darwin and Sydney, and one of our tutors from Switzerland! It suited the theme of the workshop, which was designed to let us dip our toes into four different musical traditions through the lens of ornamentation and improvisation. We explored micro-tonal Indian and Iranian styles with Khaled Arman, folk music of the British Isles with Luke Plumb, klezmer melodies with Rachel Meyers, and (naturally) baroque music with Donald Nicolson and Julia Fredersdorff. We had instruments from clarinets to cellos to an oud… and even a soprano shawm made an appearance!

”Of course, three days was never going to be enough time to truly delve into the complexities and richness of each of these traditions! But it gave us a little taste into all of them, and allowed us to find common threads and points of difference. We left on Tuesday afternoon having met a wonderful group of like-minded musicians, ready to go out and keep exploring these rich musical languages.”