Water Pushes Sand Australian Art Orchestra

Album info



Label: Jazzhead

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Modern Jazz

Album including Album cover


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FLAC 48 $ 10.20
  • 1Joy at the Sunrise04:47
  • 2Here Come the Waves06:26
  • 3Rivers of Bicycles05:31
  • 4Forgotten Streets08:16
  • 5Bandong Chant07:02
  • 6Clouds in White06:11
  • 7Mapo Tofu04:26
  • 8Remember Harry05:24
  • 9Water Pushes Sand03:09
  • 10Changing Faces04:27
  • 11Joy at the Sunrise (Reprise)03:42
  • Total Runtime59:21

Info for Water Pushes Sand

The Australian Art Orchestra, led by artistic director Peter Knight, is renowned for merging musical styles and cultures to create thrilling works. August 2017 sees The AAO cement their position as Australia’s leading art music ensemble as they tour nationally performing their acclaimed work Water Pushes Sand with a ten-piece ensemble featuring Sichuan ‘face changing’ dancer and promoting the album release of this important work through Jazzhead.

Water Pushes Sand was composed by Erik Griswold for the Australian Art Orchestra and master musicians from Sichuan, China. Long term associates of the AAO, Erik Griswold and Vanessa Tomlinson have spent 15 years exploring the music and culture of Sichuan - their collaborations with musicians from Sichuan are well known.

Sichuan is the “Texas of China”. It is known for its brash and friendly people, spicy food, laid back tea-houses and the distinctive twang of its spoken dialect. Its music combines colours from rustic country folk, street songs, and the ear-splitting cacophony of gongs and cymbals. It is more like blues or early rock and roll than classical music. Even Sichuan opera is hard core. The combination of Griswold’s spaced out big band sensibility and an Australian / Sichuanese ten-piece all-star band makes Water Pushes Sand sound like nothing you’ve ever heard.

Since Water Pushes Sand’s lauded debut at 2015’s Melbourne Festival the piece went on to be nominated for the APRA/AMC Art Music Awards ‘2016 Jazz Work of the Year’ and won rave reviews in the media for its unique fusion of Sichuan folk music and jazz. Planet Arts called it “a liberating performance showing the beauty and strength of two cultures intertwining”, and The Music “an excellent collaboration”.

Peter Knight says, “The AAO is doing something unique in Australian music. We collaborate with musicians from around the world to work in the space where cultures, genres and disciplines collide. We are breaking down barriers, blurring lines, creating dialogue and building friendships. Water Pushes Sand epitomises this, creating something distinctive and completely relevant to Australia in 2017.”endangered music of China’s Sichuan Province and in doing so, create a vibrant and original world of sound.

Zheng Sheng Li, voice
Shi Lei, bamboo flute
Zhou Yu, suona, Chinese violin, bamboo flute
Timothy O’Dwyer, saxophones
Peter Knight, trumpet, laptop electronics
Zhou Tao Tao, gu zheng
Erik Griswold, piano
Vanessa Tomlinson, percussion
Zhong Kai Zhi, percussion
Samuel Pankhurst, double bass

The Australian Art Orchestra (AAO)
With an emphasis on improvisation, The Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) explores the meeting points between disciplines and cultures, and imagines new musical forms to reflect the energy and diversity of 21st century Australia.

Founded by Paul Grabowsky in 1994 the AAO is one of Australia’s leading contemporary ensembles. Now led by daring composer/trumpeter/sound artist Peter Knight, its work constantly seeks to stretch genres and break down the barriers separating disciplines, forms and cultures. It explores the interstices between the avant-garde and the traditional, between art and popular music, between electronic and acoustic approaches, and creates music that traverse the continuum between improvised and notated forms.

The Australian Art Orchestra nods to the hugely influential, Art Ensemble of Chicago in its name, as do a number of other famous groups including the Vienna Art Orchestra, and in doing so it builds on a set of ideas that stretch back to the beginnings of jazz. These ideas in turn drew on an extraordinary collision of cultures, ways of thinking, and folk traditions that are so old that their beginnings are untraceable. The AAO’s music may sound very little like American jazz these days but the restless energy that made jazz such a force in the twentieth century still drives the projects it makes, including with the traditional songmen from Ngukurr in Arnhem Land (Crossing Roper Bar), with Bae Il Dong, the Korean p’ansori singer (The Return of Spring), with Guru Kaaraikkudi R. Mani from Chennai (Two Oceans), with Nicole Lizee, Alvin Lucier (Exit Ceremonies) and with an extraordinary range of Australian artists from a range of disciplines. This is Australian ‘jazz’ in 2018!

The Australian Art Orchestra has won many awards, nominations and much praise for its work. Most recently Diomira, composed by Peter Knight, won the 2016 Albert H Maggs composition prize and was nominated for the APRA/AMCOS Art Music Awards ‘Work of the Year’, while Erik Griswold’s Sichuan inspired, Water Pushes Sand, was nominated for the 2017 ARIA for Jazz Album of the Year. The group has also won three Australian Jazz Bell awards (most recently in 2014), the 2014 AMC/APRA Art Music Award ‘Excellence by an Organisation’, 2013 AMC/APRA Art Music Award ‘Performance of the Year’, a 2010 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards (Group Award), the H C Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship (2010), a Helpmann Award (2004), and a 2009 Classical Music award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Australian Music in a Regional Area’. The AAO regularly tours both locally and internationally with recent highlights including the 2018 London Jazz Festival, and 2018 Jazztopad Wroclaw (Poland).

‘Thrilling and daunting in equal measure. . . the AAO’s boldness of vision remains intact as it heads into its third decade.’ The Age November 2014

‘Words were intoned, usually as text-poems, with slow steps made by the players, densities gradually increasing, coated with thick electronic tones, several members using effects devices. Fanfare horns and boom drums made them sound like a thicker Necks, or a Liberation Music Orchestra with Reichian pulses, or a stately Nyman preen, climaxing with drum solo thunder, garrulous trombone interjections and a megaphone vocal crackle.’ Jazzwise review of ‘The Plains’ at Jazztopad Poland 2018

This album contains no booklet.

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