Collusion – The Marais Project

Jenny Marais Project

Jenny Erikkson, founder and leader of The Marais Project, Sydney

The art of musical conspiracy is a sub-text for the next concert to be produced by The Marais Project at Sydney.

All secrets will be revealed in Collusion, a special recital at Sydney Conservatorium on August 24 2014

Director and viola da gamba specialist Jennifer Erikkson is ‘Re-Imagining’ the celebration surrounding 15 years of giving concerts that are a triumph of the early music style.

Collusion promises to be a program that provides unique and special moments for The Marais Project’s friends, fans and followers.

Also on stage with Jennifer Erikkson will be creative and innovative musical partners Susie Bishop – violin, treble viol and voice) and Emily-Rose Šárkova – piano, harpsichord and piano accordion.

This unique duo are successfully collaborating well to reveal their classical prowess and their love of music to assist in bringing about a rebirth for the appreciation of many different cultures and their diverse and magical musical traditions.

Young performers of the calibre and versatility of Susie and Emily-Rose are a rarity”, Eriksson stated. “Many music lovers will know Emily-Rose and Susie from successful music groups, Chaika, whose songs echo stories from foreign lands with flashes of Balkan, Jazz, Jewish, Celtic and Italian cultures as well as “Tangalo”, a fiery group revitalizing Sydney’s Argentine tango dance culture”

Emily Sarkova & Susie Bishop

Emily-Rose Sarkova and Susie Bishop, musical style

Classically trained in Australia before heading for Europe, Emily-Rose and Susie are certainly a unique duo equally at home across a range of genres, including tango, world music and modern folk.

The duo’s extensive repertoire ranges from traditional lieder to French songs, from dramatic works to an often very funny re-imagining of popular tunes.

The highly sophisticated program leads off with a work by a considerable woman of influence in the history of music and the world, Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), who was an extraordinary woman, a visionary, poet, musician, natural healer and theologian.

Despite all her good qualities, Hildegard von Bingen had limits to both her patience and humility and her written works down the ages have received great praise.

Many believe she surpassed the theological works of most of her male contemporaries with her ‘visionary beauty and intellectual power’.

Allegory of Music by Laurent de La Hyre (French, Paris 1606-1656 Paris) painted 1649 courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Allegory of Music by Laurent de La Hyre (French, Paris 1606-1656 Paris) painted 1649 courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

She is only one of three women in the long history of the Christian church to receive the formal title ‘Doctor of the Church’. Amazingly this was not conferred until October 2012, when the church finally acknowledged that her teaching had been of long lasting and universal significance.

Jenny Eriksson has commissioned an arrangement of a wonderful work by French composer and viol player Marin Marais (1656 – 1728), who studied with Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) King Louis XIV of France’s favourite composer.

Emily-Rose noted the girls were not at all familiar with the French composer’s work prior to her request.

Appointed Ordinaire de la Musique de la Chambre du Roi in 1685, Marais was known beyond France’s boundaries during his age.

The only extensive account of both his life and works was recorded in Le Parnasse francois (published Paris 1732). Today despite many of his works being lost, the rest survive in five volumes.

His opus Pièces de Violes represent his accomplishments, which are recognized as being of great scope and originality.

When working on the arrangement Emily-Rose reported they were in Turkey. They observed some of its exotic sounds, as well as their favourite jazz influences have crept into their interpretation.

The new arrangement of the E minor suite from Book IV is meant to emphasize a collaboration between the timbrel sounds of accordion and that of the viol. “Audiences can expect it to be beautiful,” Susie said.

Titon is known to have stated “… one recognizes the fecundity and elegance of the genius of this musician by the quantity of works he has composed. One finds everywhere in them good taste and a surprising variety.”

Emily Sarkova & Susie Bishop 2There is no doubt that the concert will be lively. “Audiences can expect the unexpected,” said Emily Rose recently in an interview.

“…as for styles that might creep into our interpretations, that is very much dependent what music we are performing and how much artistic license we have at the time spanning early music to modern day and art music”.

For the girls they have delving into the worlds of jazz, folk, world and song writing, which for them seems like forever. They readily acknowledge that many influences and inspiring works have motivated both their music and lifestyle.

Music-AttributesFeaturing on the program are also works by Spanish composer and virtuoso pianist Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999), the Italian composer, gambist, singer and red-haired Roman Catholic priest Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) and the German-born London based Baroque composer Georg Friderich Handel (1685-1759).

Eliska Sarka will be narrating the poetic translations of texts.

There will be an interesting contemporary work by neuro physicist and composer Cliff Kerr, now based in New York.

Emily Sarkova met Cliff Kerr during her Sydney Conservatorium days. He composed the piece  that they will be playing specifically for Susie and Emily.

It will be of interest to encounter his musical adaption of one of the beautiful poems by painter, essayist, author, poet and playwright,Edward Estlin Cummings (1894-1962). Many notable British Men have read his works aloud to great acclaim.

This multi-talented artist of some note wrote delightfully and deliciously always referred to himself, and entitled his works, in ‘lower case’ –  e e cummings used insightful language always to express his simply beautiful observations, including the lovely sweet words expressed in ‘may i feel said he’

As ‘feeling’ is one of the most powerful emotions for all humans, this piece will undoubtedly be thought provoking for all fans of early music.

Singing and violin are both second nature for Susie Bishop, who observed, “…the essence of the old will remain whilst we breathe a bit of new life into the music”.

Emily & Susie TangoBoth the girls are reported as being particularly motivated by Balkan music, which can be infectious with its vibrant dance rhythms, full range of tonal colours and welcoming atmosphere.

Rhythmically intricate with great potential for harmonic complexity, it’s always a challenge.

With playing dances like the tango comes the challenge of ensuring it is dynamic enough to inspire both dancers and listeners alike.

There will be many looking forward to this special afternoon when the full musical conspiracy will be finally revealed.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014

The Marais Project – Collusion

Sunday 24th August 2014
3.00pm to 4.15pm

Collusion Poster

Complimentary drinks served
Recital Hall West, Sydney Conservatorium,
Macquarie Street, Sydney

PHONE (02) 9809 5185

Hildegard von Bingen

O Virtus Sapientie (Oh Strength of Wisdom)

G.F. Handel
Gloria HWV Deest

Marin Marais
New arrangement E minor suite from Book IV Pièces de Violes

Cliff Kerr
May I Feel? – E.E. Cummings

Joaquin Rodrigo – Arr. E. Sarkova
Cancion del Grumete (Song of the sailor) Anonymous
Coplas del pastor enamorado (Love song of the shepherd) – Lope de Vega
Soneto (Sonnet) – Juan Bautista de Mesa

Claudio Monteverdi
Chiome D’oro (Tresses of gold)

Susie Bishop – Soprano & Treble Viol
Emily-Rose Sarkova – Piano, Harpsichord, Accordion & Voice
Jenny Eriksson – Viola da Gamba and Ruby Electric Gamba
Eliska Sarka – Poetic Translations


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