Can you tell me about why lost+sound was started and the philosophy behind the collective?
Lost+sound came about from four girls: Mimi Kind, Alexis Weaver, Josephine Macken and myself, coming together with a shared love of quirky, experimental music making. We joined together through studying composition at the Sydney Conservatorium, and we noticed there was a real gap in putting on art that falls outside the box, and pushes boundaries of the conventional concert hall. We started the collective to share our different artistic fascinations to the wider community, to put on immersive concert experiences and create a support network for fellow women in the creative industries.
The collective supports and presents multi-art works, with a priority on the experimental - why is it so important to make these kinds of platforms available for female composers and artists to share their work?
At the beginning of this project, all four of us discussed how we interacted and generated ideas differently when we were together – as opposed to in a larger cohort of male, female, and other artists. We were all surprised to find ourselves putting forward more ideas, interjecting more, asserting our opinions much more strongly and we realised that this was because we all felt safe to take creative risks with each other. Opportunities in the experimental field don’t come around every day; so instead of waiting for our break to come, we have put the power into our own hands and created chances for our work to be shared with the wider community. Within this ensemble of emerging female artists, it feels like a space to express ourselves freely and try things that we may not necessarily do within a larger or mixed environment.
So it is necessary to have that welcoming, open-minded, creatively free environment for female composers to expand their creativity, take risks, see what works and then grow as an artist. This platform gives us a chance to show younger and aspiring artists that there are other women out there doing it. We’re proud of the work we create and we want to share it with others and use it to encourage fellow creators.
Your upcoming concert, Retrospectacles, focuses themes of identity and memory - can you share your thoughts on putting together a program and what your priorities are in curating lost+sounds projects?
It was important for us in curating the program that each one of us took our own individual approach to tackling the theme within our pieces. Each person has their own past and stories to tell, so we wanted the program to be accordingly diverse. So in this program, we combine an interactive installation, a work for Celtic flute, clarinet, kalimba and film, a piece for alto saxophone and electronics and an electroacoustic/dance collaboration. An unlikely combination; but very authentic to each of our individual styles. We prioritise works that can be pieced together under a theme, rather than specific instrumentation.
You'll be putting it on at 107 Projects - an art gallery in Redfern: how important is a space in the planning of a concert? How do you choose a venue for your performances, and is it a specific priority of yours to move away from the concert hall?
Picking the venue was crucial to the way we programmed our concert. The E3 room at 107 Projects is spacious with a stage and projectors, and regularly houses new experimental art projects. The space determines how much room we can fill our installations and crazy ideas in. I feel in the mediums we’re working in, the content is far from the “traditional concert feeling”, so our space needs to reflect that. In our concert, our audience is placed at the same level as the performers and in fact get to participate as well, to create a space that is able to be a more communal, casual atmosphere. In future concerts, we hope to explore other quirky spaces Sydney- warehouses, boats, who knows what else!
What does the future of lost+sound look like? What are your goals for the collective?
We’re looking forward to more collaborations and more performances in the future. This is only the start of a group that we’re hoping will grow in associated artists, and support. We’re all keen to keep experimenting with our craft, and this group provides us with the perfect excuse. I’m also always on the look out for new works and projects by other women creators, so I’m looking forward to being able to use this space to engage audiences with more diverse musical voices.
lost+sound present Retrospectacles at 107 Projects on Sunday 21st May at 6pm. More information is available here. Cover art by Ellen Bird.