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Conduit Arts Solo Initiative

Conduit Arts brings together 4 contemporary improvising musicians to present an evening of solo performances in the Conduit Arts space.

Each musician has actively pursued solo performance as a part of their practice, developing different techniques and philosophies in their approach to this form of performance.

Come along to Conduit Arts on Wednesday the 3rd of December and witness 4 of Melbourne's finest emerging improvisers confront this challenging medium.

Doors @ 8pm. $10 Entry



Oscar’s solo work pulls from three main musical influences and a plethora of life influences. The abrasive extended techniques and harmonic applications of Stefano Scodanibbio and Mark Dresser are extremely prevalent, as is the rhythmic and tonal approach of Avishai Cohen. An appreciation of texture, and a love of repetition shape his sound.
Above all, Oscar aims to improvise with honesty and conviction – a pure expression of this moment, influenced by surroundings and experiences, channeled through raw sound.

-----JAMES MCLEAN-----
James McLean is a drummer from Melbourne, working primarily in the fields of contemporary jazz and improvised music. He has worked with many musicians, including album releases and national tours with The Marc Hannaford Trio (2013 Bell & APRA award winners), Paul Williamson’s ‘Inside Out’ and Lightly Toasted. In addition to this, the collectively-led trio All Talk – with guitarist Alistair Mclean and bassist Samuel Zerna – released their debut album A Shorthand of Sensation in 2014, primarily comprised of James’ compositions.

James began performing solo in 2013, after a JUMP Mentoring grant saw him travel to Japan to study with percussionist/composer Phil Treloar. His solo practice deals with the intersections of composition and improvisation, by utilizing a series of predetermined musical devices that are re-worked and re-contextualised with each performance. Furthermore, James’ recent focus has been on rhythmic cycles and unorthodox methods of movement on the drumset, the influence of which will be evident in this performance.

Mark Shepherd is a double bassist and electronic musician from Melbourne, Australia. Mark has collaborated with a wide range of Australian based musicians, particularly from the jazz and avant-garde music scenes. Mark has also established himself as a soloist having performed solo at venues and festivals in Australia and Europe. 

Mark's unique approach to the double bass is a result of his interest in a broad range of music from around the world, including avant-guarde and experimental music, and in particular minimalistic music, both traditional and modern. These musical influences have led Mark to a pathway that seeks to transcend genre based music.

Mark's solo electronic work typically utilises sampler, analog synthesiser, percussion, analog effects, and is often drone based. Mark's solo double bass performances explore microntonal pitch, use space/silence and are occasionally accompanied by drones.

-----JOSH KELLY-----
Josh Kelly is a young Melbourne-based saxophonist and improviser. In his solo work, Josh investigates the use of overtones and multi-phonics combined with various rhythmic groupings and cycles to create a unique textural world in which he improvises. Some major influences including Colin Stetson and Evan Parker are clearly evident, though Josh is generally pushing the solo saxophone conversation into a more rhythmic area, influenced by the Australian improvised music scene.

Earlier Event: November 30
Splatch @ The Hawthorn Common
Later Event: December 5
Ricochet @ The Smoking Owl Ball