“Young’s is a music quietly determined to be itself…the aural equivalent of seeing a world in a grain of sand.” Sydney Morning Herald
Ricefields was first performed at La Mama Theatre, Melbourne in 1998. A collaboration between composer David Young and visual artists Sarah Pirrie and Rosemary Joy, the project was inspired by the rural and urban landscape in Matsue, Japan. The basis of the project was the development and creation of a sculptural music score which became the physical setting of the performance.
The four musicians interpreted the score musically, reading material ranging from traditional music notation through to graphics and free improvisation. Each of the musicians came from different musical backgrounds, ranging from classical contemporary to jazz and improvisation: soprano, Deborah Kayser; recorder player, Natasha Anderson; percussionist, Peter Humble; violinist Yasutaka Hemmi, Matsue, Japan. The resulting soundscape was enhanced by sound designer Michael Hewes live electro-acoustic processing; and the sculptural environment was illuminated by Lisa Trewin’s lighting design.
Ricefields was performed at Le Centre Choréographique, Belfort, France in May 1999. Japan season at Yumeshuraku, Shimane and Gallery 21, Ginza, Tokyo immediately preceded the Australian seasons at Brisbane’s MetroArts and Sydney’s Performance Space.
Ricefields was performed in a diverse range of venues, including a gallery, theatre, dance studio and hall, presented a number of creative and logistical challenges. The project evolved and changed as the tour progressed as different physical settings created new opportunities to interpret and present the work for a new audience. New visual elements were added in Brisbane and Sydney and significant lighting changes were made to maximise the distinctive qualities of each venue. A seminar about the production was given to composition students at Sydney University.
Curator/artist — Rosemary Joy
Curator/artist — Sarah Pirrie
Curator / composer — David Young
Soprano — Deborah Kayser
Recorder — Natasha Anderson
Violin / viola — Yasutaka Hemmi
Percussion — Peter Humble
Sound design — Michael Hewes
Lighting — Lisa Trewin
Supported by Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, The City of Melbourne, Shimane Prefecture Government Japan, Australian Embassy in Tokyo, The Performance Space, MetroArts, La Mama