Hit that perfect beat, girl

THERE’S a gentleness to Louise Devenish’s percussion, but whether hypnotically stroking a xylophone, beating out a rhythm on djembe, striking a set of kettle drums, or digitally manipulating music on the keyboard, the passion shines through.

Her concerts are known for being cutting-edge and audiences have been surprised to find themselves circled by the performers, or sitting next to musicians staggered throughout the venue.

“With proximity different audiences members get to hear different things,” Devenish says.

“And you can feel [the musician] sweating,” she laughs.

In Electroacoustic Music for One Percussionist her innovative style will take audiences on a journey through sound, exploring the unique capabilities of individual percussion instruments and electronics.

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People think they know what percussion is and expect to see a “lot of drums”, Devenish tells the Voice.

“But because of electronic sounds this is something else.”
The use of found objects, including steel pipe cut into segments add to the variety of unique sounds, she says: “sounds that are something else.”

Her show will feature works by living Australian composers.

“People think composers are 200 years old, but a lot of living Australians are composing.”

Victorian Warren Burt approached Devenish after hearing her play: “He said he had a great idea and could he write me a piece,” she says.

Collaborating via the net, Burt laid down a digitally manipulated track, over which Devenish will perform.

“I improvise, so each performance will be different.”

The UWA music lecturer commissioned WA composer Stuart James, and the result is musical spacialisation, with different sounds coming out of different speakers around the room – “kind of like surround sound,” she says.

“It’s a major work 18 minutes long, with amazing computer technology.”

Devenish has toured the world with her percussion performances, including gigs with Victoria’s Speak Percussion in Japan, USA, Canada and Korea.

Beat a path to the Astor Lounge, Wednesday September 16, 7.30 to hear her before she heads to Europe.

by JENNY D’ANGER

897 Leslie Hinton 10x2897 York Bzzar 5x2

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