With COVID-19 restrictions shutting down performance venues around the country for the foreseeable future the viability of their 2020 concert season was left “uncertain” for the Phoenix Collective. But the collective hopes to continue delivering high quality performances online, and say now more than ever we can see the importance of art in a time of crisis.
“More than escapism, art provides hope. Art matters, and in times of crisis, artists are often driven to create something new in tough environments to maintain their livelihoods and artistic practices,” says Director and violinist, Dan Russell.
The event is the first of three Phoenix Collective digital sessions planned for the year and was made possible by a $10,000 grant from the Australian Council for the Arts. The event will raise funds to help create high quality digital audio visual presentations for the rest of Phoenix Collective’s 2020 concert program.
In Different Trains, the Phoenix Collective Quartet (PCQ) will show off their “Iso recorded” rendition of Steve Reich’s Different Trains which reflects on train travel during the 1940s in America and Europe. The “haunting” three movement piece will be performed overlaying a tape 1988 by the Kronos String Quartet which makes use of train sounds, warning signals and actual voice recordings of train conductors and Holocaust survivors.
The music will provide the soundtrack for a film specially produced for the event by renowned Sydney videographer, Sina S of VDO SYMPTOMS. The Thai-born artist has had her work featured in film festivals around the country.
Funds raised through the event will go towards developing an online digital platform to present future live performances, to build a wider audience for their “artistic vision”, and to provide meaningful employment to the artists involved.
The Phoenix Collective brings together high-profile classical musicians to create recital series with “a uniquely Australian edge.” They hope that shifting their program to a digital format will maintain the livelihoods of some of Australia’s best classical musicians.
“The project is particularly important during a time of uncertainty and financial hardship for Australian artists, when all are being asked to do more with less, while still thinking outside the box,” Russel explains.
“We have some of the best musicians in Australia. If we don’t back our artists, we risk losing our edge as a creative country.”
Jun 7, Online Event, $20, Tickets & Info: www.pcmusic.net
By Allison Hore