Thursday, 24 October 2019: Biliana Voutchkova/Clayton Thomas  and Ensemble Offspring (Claire Edwardes / Jason Noble) + Henry Justo

Forbidden Things

Improvisation, at its best, is a living experience; a timbrel, textural, visceral approach to music making. With one foot in the past, and one foot in the future, the players give and take in equal measure, building a collective response to moment. This evening of ‘in-the-moment’ collaborations explores a global history of art music, folk music’s, and western classical music.

Featuring Bulgarian violinist Biliana Voutchkova in collaboration with double bassist Clayton Thomas, as well as members of Sydney’s esteemed Ensemble Offspring, the concert promises a one-night only opportunity to hear one of the worlds most esteemed contemporary musicians, in three distinct sets of music.

General – $35
Concession – $20

The Newsagency
74-76 Pyrmont Bridge Road

Doors open: 6:30pm
Music starts: 7:00pm


ablinger “ohne titel 1 - 10 ” - all together 5'
saunders “hauch” - solo violin - 7’

vivier vln/cl duo 6’

biliana solo “ruins of rules” - 7’

billion & clay duo 10’
group improv 15’

 One of Europe’s most versatile violinists, Biliana Voutchkova (Bulgaria) has carved out a unique place for herself within the spectrum of composed and experimental music. A gifted interpreter of the contemporary repertoire, Biliana is also a stunning improviser with a natural ear for structure, timbre and texture. A member of legendary ensembles Zeitkratzer and Splitter (Berlin), she brings a force to her playing that belies a playful and joyful spirit. Biliana is a member of  Splitter Orchestra, Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, Ensemble Modern, Zeitkratzer, Work in Progress, Ensembles United Berlin, Mosaik, LUX:NM and no doubt more by now. 

Clayton Thomas is an internationally renowned bass player, band leader and grass-roots organizer working in the field of experimental and improvised music. He is the founder of the NOW now, Splitter and Splinter Orchestra’s and a multitude of collaborative ensembles around the world.

Ensemble Offspring are champions of adventurous new music. The group embraces open-minded music-making in all its forms, from seminal chamber work to free improvisation, alongside the creation of striking interdisciplinary productions. Based in Sydney, Ensemble Offspring is led by acclaimed percussionist, Claire Edwardes, and the core septet features some of Australia’s most innovative and virtuosic performers. Winners of the 2016 Art Music Award for Excellence by an Organisation for the groups’ more than 20 years contribution to Australian music, Ensemble Offspring has performed throughout Australia and the world – from Katherine to Hong Kong and Brugge to Wagga Wagga.

Internationally acclaimed percussion soloist, chamber musician and artistic director of Ensemble Offspring, Claire Edwardes has been described by the press as a ‘sorceress of percussion’. Graduating as Student of the Year in 1997 from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, she went on to win the coveted Symphony Australia Young Performers Award in 1999. She subsequently relocated to the Netherlands to undertake a Masters Degree at the Rotterdam and Amsterdam Conservatories. A resident there for seven years, she was the recipient of many international awards and prizes. Claire was the 2005 MCA/Freedman Fellow and she is the only Australian to win three APRA Art Music Awards for Excellence by an Individual for her contribution to Australian Music (2016, 2012, 2007). In her role as Artistic Director of Ensemble Offspring she commissions, programs and performs to the highest level, some of the most innovative and cutting-edge new music being presented worldwide today. Recent highlights include a residency at Music on Main (Vancouver), performances of the Australian premiere of James McMillan’s 2nd Percussion Concerto with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House and the creation of her dance show entitled ‘Recital’ premiering at Dance Massive in 2019, with director Gideon Obarzanek, dancer Richard Cilli and co-composer Paul Mac.

Jason Noble is one of Australia’s most versatile clarinetists. As a core member of Ensemble Offspring for over 15 years, Jason has performed contemporary new music at festivals from Warsaw to London, Shanghai to Kabul, and around Australia, working largely with living composers. Recently, Jason co-curated a Musica Viva Sessions salon in collaboration with Artbank and violinist Veronique Serret, and also released his first solo album, Chi’s Cakewalk — a collection of contemporary Australian works for clarinet and bass clarinet. He performs with improvising ensembles S.I.C.K.O and bass clarinet trio Lacuna with Jeremy Rose and Paul Cutlan. He has toured internationally as part of the live musical entourage for The Shaun Parker Dance Company’s acclaimed production, AM I and has jointly received “Best Performance” awards with Ensemble Offspring at the APRA/AMC Art Music Awards. Having been an invited guest teacher and performer over two winter academies at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, Jason continues to support the school through fundraising and skype lessons. Similarly, he maintains close ties with the Tiwi Strong Women's Group, Ngarukuruwala, with whom he has appeared at festivals and performed on their two albums.


Emerging Artist Henry Justo - Viola

Henry Justo is an emerging violist of versatile talents, with a focus on musical exploration. Currently studying at the Australian National Academy of Music, Henry is in 2019 Associate Artist with Ensemble Offspring as part of their Hatched Academy. He has performed with groups including Ensemble Offspring, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, ACO Collective, Sydney Chamber Opera and events Play On and Dots and Loops. Henry is also delighted to be further working with the Hush Foundation, bringing Australian music into the healthcare system.


Matthew Laing - Liebeslied 5'

Angus Davidson - Garden Suite 7-8'

Tristan Murail - C'est un jardin secret, ma soeur, ma fiancée, une fontaine close, une source scellée... 5'