Interlingua Symposium: extending improvisational language in music with Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Faculty of Jazz and Improvisation, 2017


HUB Building, Seminar Room at the Faculty of MCM and VCA St Kilda Road Melbourne, September Friday 22nd 2pm to 6pm


HUB Building, Seminar Room (Rm 102), Faculty of MCM and VCA St Kilda Road Melbourne,

September Friday 22nd, 2pm to 6pm

Free Event, no booking required


Bae Il Dong

Chloe Kim

David and Daniel Wilfred

Dr Sam Curkpatrick

Sunny Kim

Dr Peter Knight

Dr Robert Vincs


Improvisation is music’s interlingua. Beyond cultural difference is the space that musicians occupy in the moment of performance where sound plays with all that is human.


Interlingua seminar explores new approaches to musical improvisation informed and exemplified by the Australian Art Orchestra’s work over many years with artists from Asia and Arnhem Land. It includes papers and performances by:

Bae Il Dong (Seoul)

Emerging during the mid Chosŏn era (1392-1910), p’ansori is a style of epic story singing performed by a vocalist and drummer (kosu). The vocalist narrates long dramatic tales through speech, song, and action, while the drummer accompanies the singer and gives calls of encouragement (ch’ûimsae) such as ŏlssigu (right-on!) at the end of vocal phrases. Traditionally, in order to master the various elements of p’ansori, singers would spend long periods (100 days) in isolation, singing into waterfalls in order to “break” the voice and reveal the “true” tone. Bae Il Dong, a performer steeped in the eastern school (tongp’yŏnje) of p’ansori, is one of the few contemporary singers to follow this harsh tradition. While still a student, he traveled to Mount Chiri on the southern end of the Sobaek Mountain Range and spent seven years living by a waterfall, practicing up to 18 hours a day in order to reveal his voices.


David and Daniel Wilfred (Ngukurr, Arnhem Land)

Daniel is a singer with an exceptional voice who is totally dedicated to the rendition of manikay. David is the traditional Djungayi (Manager) for the manikay of the ghost Djualpada and the country of Nyilapidgi. The Wägilak Gujarra/Nyilapidgi (stone spear group) are leaders in the performance of Wägilak manikay or song series and dance. The Young Wägilak Group is based in Ngukurr, NT, from where they travel to outlying regions to perform their roles in various ceremonial functions. Through their performances for Crossing Roper Bar they have allowed people further afield to learn about their culture while showing a way forward for young people wishing to engage with the traditions of the living Elders and their ancestors. Daniel and David are faculty leaders on the AAO’s annual flagship education program, the Creative Music Intensive teaching and leading workshops about traditional music and Australian culture with young and emerging musicians from Australia and the region.


Sunny Kim (Seoul) 

With her cutting edge vision for music and truly unique vocal style, melding elements of jazz, classical, electronic and Korean folk music, Sunny has gained recognition worldwide. She is based in Seoul but lived for an extended time in the US and currently divides her time between Seoul and New York performing with groups led by Roswell Rudd, Min Xiao Fen, Pheeroan AkLaff and Gino Sitson and regularly tours America, Korea and Japan. She has appeared on numerous radio and television stations including Arirang TV, EBS, and WGBH as well as Korean newspapers such as Korea Daily and Korea Times and has received rave reviews for her work. She also leads several projects and has produced a number of albums as leader.


Dr Rob Vincs (Melbourne)

Rob is a distinctive voice in Australian music.  He is a music artist specialising in solo saxophone improvised performance and composing electro-acoustic music for dance.  He has performed extensively in the US, Europe and Asia with some of Australia’s leading musicians.  Rob’s research interests lie in theorising new music practice, artist-led research methodology and research ethics and the artist.  Recent scholarly and artistic publications include Deleuze’s Hammer: intertextual tools for doctoral writing (Libri 2014). The Crack-Up (Malthouse theatre, 2014) and Vox Lumen: people into light (White Nights, Federation Square, 2015).  In 2016 Rob released Sonic Angel a collaboration with Master drummer David Jones and Terrestrial (CHV Trio) through the Downstream label.  Rob is Head of Jazz and Improvisation at The University of Melbourne.


Chloe Kim (Seoul/Sydney)

Chloe (Yeajee) Kim is currently studying Jazz Performance on drums at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Her interests in jazz and free improvisations inspired her to explore diverse musical traditions and rhythms, particularly through participating in the Australian Arts Orchestra’s Creative Music Intensive Course from 2016. Drawing on Chloe’s Korean background, she has worked as a translator, faculty assistant and artist minder of AAO. Chloe regularly performs in several ensembles including Ta Go Lak (alongside her lecturer Simon Barker) and Improper Citation, a band experimenting group-improvisations.


Dr Peter Knight (Melbourne)

Australian trumpeter/composer/sound artist, Peter Knight, is a multidisciplinary musician who has gained wide acclaim for his eclectic approach, which integrates jazz, world music, and experimental approaches. Knight’s work as both performer and composer is regularly featured in a range of ensemble settings, he also composes for theatre and creates sound installations. Since 2013 Knight has been the Artistic Director of the Australian Art Orchestra. Perpetually curious, Knights’s practice defies categorisation; indeed, he works in the spaces between categories, between genres, and between cultures developing an international following for his work with nine albums in as many years showcasing a diverse range of ensembles and approaches: “Hard to categorise… hauntingly memorable” The Wire (UK). Knight is the recipient of numerous awards including in 2016 the Albert H. Maggs Composition Award, the Age/Music Victoria award for Jazz Album of the Year, and a Green Room Theatre Award (with Tamara Saulwick). In 2013 he was awarded a prestigious Australia Council Music Fellowship. He is the recipient of two Bell Jazz Awards, along with nominations for the Australian Music Prize (AMP, for Daughter’s Fever), APRA/AMC Art Music Awards, Green Room Theatre (sound design), Australian Arts In Asia Awards, and AIR Independent Recording Awards.


This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, the Australian Government through the Australia Korea Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Portland House Foundation and has been supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.