RRaPP, the ReUNION Retreat and Performance Project concluded with guest-of-honour Phil Treloar’s departure early this morning, Nov 15, 2011.
Firstly I want to express my gratitude to Dur-é Dara and Elizabeth Bell for their loving, untiring support and the organisational skill that they exercised without apparent effort so that the music of RRaPP could be seamlessly realised. Dur-é managed to achieve this and simultaneously make several unique contributions to the music making. RRaPP was also indebted to the Society of Soiree Soup-makers, comprising Dur-é and Elizabeth, Anita, Brigit, Juana, Brendan and the Nudel Bar which provided welcome sustenance at the Soiree performances and the 11/11 RRaPP-party.
I also want thank my son Brendan for his inventive video documentation of almost the entire 16 day event and for his fluid, unobtrusive presence as he worked in, through, and out of the musicians and their interlocked operating spaces. His work will see the light of day when time permits the production required to transform his material into some DVDs.
There are three other individuals whom I want to spotlight. All were closely involved in the presentation of THE OTHER, RRaPP’s major ensemble. They are Sean Baxter, the inimitable face of the Make It Up Club, the quiet, focused and efficient MIUC Tech. and sound engineer, Stephen Richards, and Bella Warmington who Stage Managed and Tech’d for THE OTHER at LaMAMA, Bela who emanates a positive energy we love.
And so to the extraordinary musicians who immediately welcomed the idea of RRaPP when I first proposed it and to those who finally contributed to its immeasurable success – Dur-é Dara, Carolyn Connors, Anita Hustas, Ren Walters, Tony Hicks, Adrian Sherriff, Ted Vining, Julien Wilson and Tom Fryer, whose contribution was unfortunately prevented because of ill-health and to Adam Simmons, Sam Pankhurst and Scott McConnachie, who joined after RRaPP began. My deep heart-felt thanks to you all for contributing to the various aspects of RRaPP wholehearted and with such highly focused invention. Each segment of each performance was a gem of a statement, compositionally interactive and expressively dynamic within the creative fabric of the whole event.
Moreover, I would like to note that these phenomenal composer-performers contributed to RRaPP for next to no financial reward. The extensive grant application I submitted to the Australia Council on behalf of RRaPP was rejected by the Music Board but all the musicians honoured their performance commitments, Phil paid his own flight from his home inJapan, Dur-é and I provided lodging for Phil and the schedule proceeded uninterrupted.
I would like to add here that I conceived RRaPP as a concentrated period of realtime music exploration and discovery for a select group of highly experienced and gifted improvising composer colleagues. A significant element in the concept concerned the reconstitution of my early investigations into ‘Spontaneous Composition’ in the trio CONNECTIONS, a close creative venture in the late 70’s with Dur-é Dara, Phil Treloar. In RRaPP, I wanted to achieve a ‘re-union’ with these colleagues with minimum nostalgia and maximum creativity in a language and in relationships relevant to the here-and-now.
In these and many other significant respects, the Session and Performance work of RRaPP travelled into regions of heartfelt communication and exchange that far exceeded my expectations. The intense focus of the composer/performers involved and the receptivity of the audiences created a memorable, vital, interactive mix.
Which brings me to the audiences… I also want to express my gratitude to the people who attended the four Soiree Session/Performances at the D & D Residential studio and the four public performances – one at the Make It Up Club and three at LaMAMA Theatre, Explorations Series.
Finally I thank me-ol-mate Phil Treloar, for his sounding-board resonance in the planning stages, for travelling here specially for RRaPP, for contributing a continuing flow of unique creative energy, even in the face of unexpected spasms of ill-health, and for his inimitable love and good humour….. for being here, for being Phil. It gave me immense pleasure to share the astounding creativity of my Melbourne performance-composer friends with Phil and Phil’s with them. It was a notable and memorable and highly privileged experience bringing these vital energies together in so many episodes of remarkable coalescence.
Thank you all.
Documentation & Pre-Production
Audio/Visual Documentation – Brendan Tolley
Visual Documentation – Elizabeth Bell
Visual Documentation – Sian Kelly
Audio Documentation – David Tolley
PR, Design. Advertizing (La MAMA) – Annabel Warmington
Planning Assistance – Elizabeth Bell
Consultation – Dur-é Dara
Helen Punton for providing her video camera on loan
Tom O’Kelly & Just Percussion
KOROGI Instrument Makers
The Nudel Bar
Peter Wockner (Jazz & Beyond)
Production and Technical Assistance
Sean Baxter & Stephen Richards (The Make It Up Club)
Annabel Warmington (La MAMMA)
The Studio/Sound Crew at NMIT
La MAMMA Theatre, Carlton
The Make It Up Club, Bar Open, Fitzroy
North Melbourne Institute of Technology
The Tolley/Dara Residential Studio Space