This December the Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) will host the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) for the very first time at the Annandale Creative Arts Centre. Of Deities And Demons is a cross-cultural musical celebration of Australian and Sri Lankan music featuring Baliphonics and led by AAO’s Artistic Director Peter Knight. Featuring Sri Lankan Low-Country traditional drumming, dance and improvisation, Of Deities And Demons is an exciting celebration of tradition and culture.
AAO’s Artistic Director Peter Knight explained how he came to meet Baliphonics’ Sumudi Suraweera, saying: “I visited Sri Lanka last year to learn about their Low-Country ritual drumming because I always thought it was an incredibly interesting musical form. On that trip, I met Sum [Sumudi Suraweera] who is the leader of Baliphonics. I spent some time with him and we played some music together and we had a really good instant rapport and started talking about the possibility of collaboration.”
Peter and Sum share a connection through their music, with Peter saying, “improvisation is a really common practice in non-Western musical culture. We use improvisation as a link, as a language and an approach to music that we can share between our two cultures.”
“When I say that we’ll see what happens, it sounds flippant but in a way, we don’t completely know what’s going to happen until we’re all together. We take that spontaneity really seriously.”
Of Deities And Demons will feature traditional Sri Lankan music and dance that isn’t often performed in Australia. Peter finished by saying: “It’s going to be raucous, it’s going to be high energy and it’s going to have moments of real delicacy as well. That Low-Country ritual drumming is so amazing, it’s really worth hearing. I think audiences will have a really enjoyable experience.”
Dec 7. Annandale Creative Arts Centre, 81 Johnston Street, Annandale. $25-$35+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.sima.org.au
By Madison Behringer