Symbioses is a new traveling concert series curated by Jane, presenting new and recent chamber music for soprano and 2 guest instrumentalists. The music is chosen to cast a light on the symbiotic nature of duet and trio performance: breathing together, thinking together, witnessed at close range by the listeners. The series was launched on July 18, 2014 in Sydney, Australia, with Symbiosis I, for voice, clarinet, and viola. Symbiosis II took place at Spectrum in New York in February 2015. Symbiosis III, for voice, harp, and flute is on Sydney in August 2015. Check the Symbioses page for updates.
“…If I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.” – Charles Darwin, Autobiography
The Origin Cycle was commissioned in 2009 by Jane with philosopher of science Peter Godfrey-Smith. In this hour-long work, eight Australian composers set fragments of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species to music, for performance by solo soprano and chamber ensemble. Texts were chosen from all the pivotal chapters of the Origin, charting many of the crucial steps in Darwin’s “long argument,” and the pieces are performed in the order in which their texts appear. The result is a systematic exploration of the aesthetic dimension of a Darwinian view of life. In 2009, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Origin‘s first publication, Jane gave performances of The Origin Cycle in the USA, Canada, and Australia. The commissions were funded by the Australia Council for the Arts, and performances were supported by Harvard University, Stanford University, the Australian National University, and the Australian Museum. Composer Kate Neal’s contribution to the work, Hourly Scrutinising, was nominated at the 2010 International Music Council’s Rostrum of Composers competition, and Jane’s performance with Ensemble Offspring at the Australian Museum won Performance of the Year at the 2011 Art Music Awards.
You can read more about the project here.