Ellen Kirkwood about her new work, written for Sirens, premiering at Sizzle titled: Wonder and Malignance/Rising Tide/Arrived

“These three pieces I have written for Sirens are expressions of my reactions to some of the major issues affecting the world currently, the way the internet influences how we see them, and our connection to (or disconnection from) them. These pieces, although informed by my familiarity with Sirens’ enduring aesthetic, are a departure from what I have written for the group in the past, as they are more descriptive,  programmatic and subversive. I love writing for larger ensembles such as Sirens because of the diverse timbral and dynamic possibilities available to me. I’m excited to have my works performed at Sizzle to an audience that is a bit different to usual for us, as the music is a bit different too.”

Inner West music outfit, Ensemble Offspring, present their annual free community music event, Sizzle, at Petersham Bowlo on Sunday 23rd April. Now in its seventh year, Sizzle has become a fixture in the Inner West calendar — a mixture of art-meets-popular culture-meets-family fun. This year, audiences can experience a chamber music set and an all-female big band.

“Expect everyone from bearded hipsters to excited toddlers and parents looking for a family outing with a twist, along with dedicated contemporary classical music fans at Sizzle”, says Claire Edwardes, Artistic Director and percussionist of Ensemble Offspring.

Ensemble Offspring are known for challenging the classical music status quo, and this year they are only programming work by women. The ensemble felt it was “vital to shine the spotlight on female composers for an entire season to start changing the current norm where men make up the majority, if not all, of classical music programs”, said Edwardes.

Special guest artists, Sirens Big Band, a jazz “super-collective” comprising of young female musicians formed in 2009 as a response to the under-representation of women in jazz, will premiere a new work by one of their core members, local trumpeter and composer, Ellen Kirkwood.

Commissioned especially for Sizzle is a new work by the ensemble’s drummer, Bree Van Reyk, (punters might also recognise her from behind the drums for the likes of Paul Kelly and Holly Throsby) and two interactive sound experiences. Audiences can have some fun with Ping Pong Pop, by Melbourne composer Aviva Endean, an interactive game-piece combining clarinet with ping pong balls. On the lawns, they can join a hands-on, instrument building workshop and performance experience with a twist, Your Ears are Appreciated, composed and facilitated by young local composer, Liz Jigalin.

Sirens Big Band, Aviva Endean (clarinet/installation performance), Elizabeth Jigalin (workshop facilitator), Hatched Academy Musicians, Veronique Serret (6 string electric violin), Jason Noble (clarinet), Lamorna Nightingale (flute), Bree van Reyk (percussion), Claire Edwardes (percussion), Zubin Kanga (keyboard), Jessica Dunn (double bass), Simon Dawes (electric guitar).



Hosted by Petersham Bowling Club, and supported by funding from Inner West Council, Sizzle is all about challenging traditional notions of classical music and inviting audiences to experience contemporary, living music on their terms.
SIZZLE is on Sunday 23rd April from 3pm at the PBC, 77 Brighton Street, Petersham.

Ensemble Offspring Sizzle
3pm – 5:30pm, Sunday 23rd April
Petersham Bowling Club, 77 Brighton St, Petersham NSW