Australian trumpeter/composer/sound artist, Peter Knight, is a multidisciplinary musician who has gained wide acclaim for his distinctive approach, which integrates jazz, experimental, and world music traditions. Peter’s work as both performer and composer is regularly featured in a range of ensemble settings, he also composes for theatre, creates sound installations, and is the Artistic Director of one of Australia’s leading contemporary music ensembles, the Australian Art Orchestra.
Perpetually curious, Peter’s practice defies categorisation; indeed he works in the spaces between categories, between genres, and between cultures: “Hard to categorise… hauntingly memorable” The Wire (UK). “Falling into an utterly genre-less wormhole” Cyclic Defrost. “Honest, inventive and original” Hour Magazine Montreal. “A serious work of stringent originality” BBC Jazz on 3. “If trumpet is an element then Knight is an alchemist” New York City Jazz Record.
Peter’s role with the Australian Art Orchestra sees him touring regularly with the group both in Australia and abroad. He also commissions new work for the ensemble and curates a range of innovative programs for large and small settings. Outside of the AAO Peter performs regularly as a solo artist developing a distinctive modality for trumpet and electronics under the moniker, Allotrope. Other current projects include: a new ensemble, Daughter’s Fever, featuring Melbourne alt folk luminary, Paddy Mann (AKA Grand Salvo); his celebrated cross-cultural sextet, Way Out West, with koto virtuoso Satsuki Odamura, and his long running collaboration with theatre-maker, Tamara Saulwick. In January 2015 the pair’s latest work, Endings, premiered at Sydney Festival and was described as, “an elegant, economical production that delivers on its promise to stay with you long after you leave” The Guardian.
Peter has presented these and other projects at numerous venues and festivals with recent highlights including: Montreal Jazz Festival, Earshot Festival Seattle, Copenhagen Jazzhouse, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Aarhus Festival (Denmark), Café Oto (London), Melbourne Festival, Sydney Festival, MONA FOMA (Hobart), Dotolim (Seoul), Super Deluxe (Tokyo), Urban Guild (Kyoto), Earzoom (Ljubljana), Sonorous Duration Festival (Singapore), Veneto Jazz Festival (Italy), Teatro Municipal de Las Condes (Chile), iBeam (New York), Labor Sonor (Berlin), Cosmopolite (Oslo) and Totally Huge New Music Festival (Perth).
As a composer Peter’s recent commissions include, Vanessa Tomlinson for 8 Hits (percussion solo), the Australian Brass Quintet (extended brass quintet), ABC Radio National (sound work for Sound. Music. Word), Tamara Saulwick (various electro-acoustic scores), Australian Art Orchestra (various), Kate Neal (wind and string quintet), Big West Festival (Siren Call 2015), International Trumpet Guild (extended trumpet quartet), and Arts House Melbourne (digital theatre/sound work 2015).
Peter is the recipient of numerous awards and nominations including an Australia Council Music Fellowship, two Bell Jazz Awards, APRA/AMC Art Music Awards, Green Room Theatre (sound design), Australian Arts In Asia Awards, and AIR Independent Recording. He holds a doctorate from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and was awarded 2013 Alumnus of the Year. Residencies include, Banff Centre Fall Residency (2007) with the assistance of a Rolston Music Fellowship (Canada) and 2014 Music Omi (New York). Peter’s work has also been supported by grants from the Ian Potter Trust, Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, Alan C. Rose Trust, Australia Korea Foundation, Australian International Cultural Council, and The Myer Foundation. In 2005 he was awarded the Keith and Elizabeth Murdoch Travelling Fellowship.
Selected awards, grants and residencies
2014: Music Omi New York
2014: APRA/AMC Art Music Awards. Award for Excellence by an Organisation. Australian Art Orchestra
2013: Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University Alumnus of the Year
2013: Australia Council Music Fellowship (for 2013/14)
2013: Australian Arts in Asia awards. Finalist for Bright Splinters
2012: Australian Jazz Bell Awards. Winner ‘Most Original Australian Jazz Album’ for Fish Boast of Fishing.
2012: AIR Awards. Finalist for Jazz Album of the Year.
2012: APRA/AMC Art Music Awards. Finalist for Jazz Composition of the Year
2011: APRA/AMC Art Music Awards. Finalist for Award for Excellence with Way Out West
2011: Victorian Green Room Awards. Nomination for ‘Best Composition and Sound Design’ for Pin Drop
2009: Bell Award for ‘Australian Jazz Ensemble of the Year’ with Way Out West
2008: APRA Awards nomination, Jazz Composition of the Year
2007: Tom and Isobel Rolston Scholarship Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada)
2007: Griffith University full scholarship for doctoral studies in composition
2006: Myer Foundation grant for new sound installation work with Double Venturi
2004: Keith and Elizabeth Travelling Fellowship
2003: Alan C. Rose Memorial Fund Project Scholarship
Discography as leader
2014: Peter Knight/Dung Nguyen with Joe Talia, Blach Sifilchi, LENA, Tilman Robinson, Dan West. Re: Residual (remixes). Parentheses (Belgium)
2012: Peter Knight (solo), Allotrope, Listen Hear Collective (Aust)
2011: Peter Knight (sextet), Fish Boast of Fishing, Listen Hear Collective (Aust)
2011: Peter Knight/Dung Nguyen, Residual, Parentheses Records (Belgium)
2010: Way Out West, The Effects of Weather, Jazzhead/MGM (Aust)
2007: Way Out West, Old Grooves for New Streets, Jazzhead/MGM (Aust), Effendi Records (Canada)
2006: Peter Knight Quintet, All the Gravitation of Silence, Jazzhead/MGM (Aust)
2006: 5+2 Brass Ensemble, Invisible Cities and Other Works, Rufus Records/Universal (Aust)
2003: Way Out West, Footscray Station, Newmarket Music (Aust)
2001: Peter Knight Quartet, Between Two Moments, Newmarket Music (Aust)
Recent selected festivals and concerts
2013: Allotrope solo tour Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Yokohama, Seoul, New York, Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco.
2012: Allotrope solo tour Singapore (Sonorous Duration Festival), Denmark (LAK Soundart Festival), UK (Café Oto), Slovenia (Earzoom Festival Ljubljana and International Computer Music Conference), Italy (Venice), Australia (Restrung Festival Brisbane)
2012: Performances with Lindsay Vickery and Stuart James Slovenia (Earzoom Festival Ljubljana), Italy (Naples Conservatorium)
Pin Drop (hybrid theatre work with electroacoustic score. Collaboration with Tamara Saulwick) National tour Sydney (Carriageworks) Hobart (Salamanca Arts Centre) Cairns (Centre of Contemporary Arts)
2012: Fish Boast of Fishing premiere Melbourne Recital Centre for Melbourne Jazz Festival
2012: Bright Splinters (with vocalist/multi media artist, Sunny Kim) World Expo Yeosu Korea
2012: Allotrope solo concerts at Dotolim Seoul and Artspace Don Quixote Suncheon (South Korea)
2011: Bright Splinters. Recording and concert performances in Seoul
2011: Queensland Music Festival with Clocked Out Band Radio Plays
2011: Pin Drop. Malthouse season Melbourne
2011: Australian tour with NY saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff and pianist Matt Mitchell
2011: Melbourne International Jazz Festival Quinsin Nachoff and 5+2 Brass Ensemble
2011: Chendu Spring Festival (Sichuan China) with Wide Alley
2010: Pin Drop. Performances at Arts House North Melbourne
2010 National tour of Australia (12 dates) with Way Out West to launch The Effects of Weather, tour produced by Sound Travellers
2010 Canadian tour with Erik Griswold’s Wide Alley including Vancouver Jazz Festival and Ottawa Jazz Festival. Album recording and release
2009 Solo concert for Labor Sonor at KuLe Berlin
2009 Tour of Japan including Takatsuki Jazz Street Festival Osaka with Way Out West
2009: Tour of Korea with Way Out West
2009: Sydney Opera House with Erik Griswold’s Wide Alley
2009: Auckland Festival with Erik Griswold’s Wide Alley
2009: All Tomorrow’s Parties Australian tour with The Saints
2008: Montreal Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Victoria Jazz Festival, Toronto World Routes,
Veneto Jazz Festival (Italy) with Way Out West
Selected scores and commissions
2014: Solo percussion. Commissioned by Vanessa Tomlinson
2013: Australian Brass Quintet. Commission for prepared brass quintet premiered at Sydney International Festival of Brass
2012: Pin Drop. Radio version commissioned by ABC Radio
2011: Seddon Archives. Audio walk (with Tamara Saulwick) commissioned by Big West Festival
2011: Pin Drop. Electro acoustic score and sound design, solo theatre/dance by Tamara Saulwick (produced by Malthouse Theatre August 2011)
2010: Dot Dash. Quartet for prepared Bb trumpets. For International Trumpet Guild annual conference Sydney July 2010
2009: Press, score for short film by Mark Hennessy
2007: Spirals. For Dead Horse Wind and String Ensemble as part of Ground Elastic Sound curated by Kate Neal, premiered at The Forum in Melbourne