Following acclaimed performances in Sydney and Perth, new music ensemble Decibel bring their After Julia program to Metro Arts.
Presenting seven works commissioned by Decibel, After Julia asks seven female composers to respond to Julia Gillard’s tenure as prime minister, and the ways in which her leadership inadvertently exposed gender discrimination both in the Australian parliament, and throughout the country. Presenting works by Gail Priest, Thembi Soddell, Cathy Milliken, Michaela Davies, Kate Moore, Andrée Greenwell/Hilary Bell and Decibel’s artistic director Cat Hope, After Julia offers seven diverse approaches not only to the subject matter, but to contemporary composition as well. Offering everything from more traditionally composed and notated pieces to forays into the highly conceptual, the program also incorporates pieces that engage directly with Gillard’s own parliamentary speeches and with the words used to describe her and her time as prime minister.
As leaders in the merging of acoustic instrumentation with electronics, Decibel have established themselves as a major force in Australian new music, bringing a fresh and forward-thinking approach to the commissioning and performance of musical works that push boundaries sonically and conceptually. Featuring everything from the operatic delivery of parliamentary speeches to a piece conducted by a goldfish, the program is concerned not so much with politics, but with the cultural recognition of women in leadership. After Julia’s eclectic approach to its subject matter nonetheless hones in on several problematic truths concerning contemporary Australian culture, and explores these across a diverse palette of musical approaches.