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Have you ever wondered what our musicians get up to in life after ANAM? Well now’s your chance to find out more about one group of ANAM musicians (current and alumni) who have formed a new contemporary art music ensemble.

On Saturday 9 April, Rubiks Collective, formed at ANAM in 2015, will present a concert celebrating the music and animation of Swedish composer and multimedia artist Marcus Fjellström. Excitingly, Marcus will be joining Rubiks in Melbourne for this event. ANAM Alumni Tamara Kohler and Kaylie Melville, Rubiks’ flautist and percussionist, talk about their upcoming concert and how the ANAM experience has influenced Rubiks’ vision.

One of the greatest elements of the ANAM program is the opportunity to work side-by-side with incredible guest artists. The divide between student and professional is blurred, with expectations about preparation, performance and professionalism always set high. The beautiful thing about this experience at ANAM is how generous the guest artists are with their time. During our time at ANAM in the South Melbourne Town Hall, Grammy-nominated percussionist William Winnant could be found hanging out in the Atrium with the students sharing his stories about Xenakis and Reich, while Ensemble Musikfabrik’s Carl Rosman once crashed Tamara’s practice session to show off his newest contraption for wind players. It’s easy to be a little star-struck when you’re working with these ANAM guests, who represent some of the best musical minds in the world, but we soon came to realise these musicians are really just like us – people who are massively excited about making, sharing and talking about music.

This idea of dialogue and sharing has become one of the key elements driving our new ensemble Rubiks. When you’re working in the field of contemporary music, there are so many opportunities to be in touch directly with composers or with the performers who champion their music. Geography is no barrier in this day and age, with email, Skype and Youtube. There are so many great musicians out there in the world who are championing innovative ideas and are so happy to connect with others who share their passion. Marcus Fjellström, who is currently based in Berlin, had never travelled outside of Europe before arriving in Melbourne for Rubiks’ upcoming portrait concert of his works. Over the past year we’ve built up so much trust between Rubiks and Marcus without ever meeting, and we’ve laughed many times at how surreal it is that Marcus has now travelled across the world to work with us in person!

Marcus arrived in Melbourne on Thursday last week to workshop four pieces for live instruments, electronic music and animation with us ahead of the concert on Saturday. We’ve been completely blown away by his generosity and enthusiasm in our rehearsals, and it’s been so exciting to hear the stories behind each work. Marcus’ music displays a huge diversity, drawing on a vast range of influences including Aphex Twin, Ligeti, Cage and Debussy, and sitting somewhere between ‘modern’ classical and avant-garde electronica. His animations meld elements of cartoons, nightmares, early technology, video games and children’s drawings, and it’s been interesting to see how the visual and aural can combine in such a masterful way. We’re looking forward to Imaginarium this weekend and to expanding this dialogue between Rubiks and Marcus out to our audiences, because that’s the greatest thing about making music of the ‘now’ – we all get to invent, play, experience and untangle it together!

Imaginarium: The Music and Animation of Marcus Fjellström
Saturday 9 April 7.30pm
Melba Hall (12 Royal Parade, Parkville)
FREE EVENT, no bookings required
http://www.rubikscollective.com

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