Experience a different scale of space and time in this beautifully crafted digital album featuring stunning performances by Australian percussion icon Dr Michael Askill and Taiwanese Pipa virtuoso Jasmine Chen of original music by award-winning composer Bonshek, and Bonshek / Askill.
Stream or download on the following platforms:
This work is in two parts – I and II.
Laniakea I – for Pipa and electroacoustic soundscape, showcases the dynamic energy and stillness of Chen’s playing.
Laniakea II – for Percussion and electroacoustic soundscape, features Askill’s powerful and sensitive performance on gongs and metallic percussion and is composed by Bonshek / Askill.
Laniakea (lah•nee•ah•keh•ah) is a Hawaiian word that means “immeasurable heavens” and is the name Brent Tully gave to the galaxy supercluster that is home to our Milky Way and approximately 100,000 other nearby galaxies.
Bonshek imagines this time-stretched, layered soundscape as an aural evocation of our expanding galaxy (beautifully spatialised with digital effects by Anna Whitaker).
This work was created in 2019 as an immersive, live music installation with digital dance film by Daniel Belton and Good Company Arts (New Zealand) with support from HOTA Home of Arts and the City of Gold Coast through HOTA’s Creative Development Program 2019, Creative New Zealand and The Regional Arts Development Fund, a partnership between the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland. View VR short film and find out more about the digital dance film at Good Company Arts.
This digital album is mixed and mastered by Anna Whitaker for binaural or spatialised listening via headphones.
Pipa performance: Jasmine Chen (Taiwan)
Percussion performance and co-composing: Dr Michael Askill (Australia)
Composition and electracoustic track: Dr Corrina Bonshek
Digital effects and spatialisation: Anna Whitaker
|Laniakea I – From infinity to a point
|Laniakea I – Travelling the filaments
|Laniakea I – Harmonic haze
|Laniakea II – Spacious, iridescent
|Corrina Bonshek & Michael Askill
|Laniakea II – Gong galaxies
|Corrina Bonshek & Michael Askill
Dr Michael Askill (PhD – University of Queensland) is a percussionist, composer, musical director, musical ambassador and educator recognised for his enduring contribution to Australian contemporary music and for his original blending of Asian and Western sounds. Before embarking on a successful independent career, he was Principal Timpanist of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and then Principal Percussionist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. His collaboration with one of Australia’s most highly respected choreographers, Graeme Murphy, resulted in a number of ballets including Free Radicals, Salome, Air and Other Invisible Forces and Synergy with Synergy. He is currently a guest lecturer at the University of Queensland and the University of Melbourne and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Percussive Arts Society in 2016.
Born in Kaohsiung city in Taiwan, Jasmine Chen has forged a career as one of the leading pipa virtuosos of her generation. She completed her master studies at the National Taiwan University of Arts, Department of Music, under the instruction of Prof. Shou-Chou Lai and Ming-Xi Wang. She has toured to Alaska, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and Guangxi, and was honoured as 2015 Young Star of Chinese Music, performing the premiere pipa concerto Yue Fei, The Valor at the Taiwan National Concert Hall. Chen has performed concertos with National Chinese Orchestra Taiwan, Taiwan Chinese Orchestra, Youth Orchestra and Hsinchu City Youth Chinese Orchestra, and these long-standing relationships had enriched her stage experience. Her distinguished charismatic, soulful and richly-hued playing is in high-demand.
Dr Corrina Bonshek (PhD Western Sydney University) is a Gold Coast based composer, and artistic director of Corrina Bonshek & Collaborators. Her music has been described as ‘meditative and euphonious’ (Journal of Music 2021), and ‘connected to the essence of South-East Asian music – timelessness’ (Chinary Ung, 2015). She was awarded 2022 Queensland Music Award Contemporary Classical for Dreams of the Earth, and in 2018, she was a finalist in Australia Art Music Awards – Instrumental Work of the Year category for Up in the Clouds, a work for sextet that reimagined Pipa sound-colours and gestures from her solo work for Taiwanese virtuoso Jasmine Chen. Her practice is diverse from concert music, to music-art events, to collaborations with traditional instrumentalists from Asia. Corrina was resident composer at the 2015 Experimental Thai Music Laboratory of Burapha University in Thailand, inaugural visiting scholar of 2016 Nirmita Institute for Young Composers in Cambodia, and composed music for Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra for 2017 Taipei International Arts Festival. She has created immersive, outdoor, live music installations for Hervey Bay Whale Festival 2021, Rainforest Fringe Festival 2019, 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Arts & Culture Festival, 2021/2018/2017 Bleach* the Gold Coast Festival. Foremost in her work is the desire to create deeply transformative listening experiences.
Anna Whitaker is an award-winning QLD based sound designer, composer and audio engineer with a palate for experimental, acousmatic works and surround sound composition. She graduated from Queensland Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music Technology, and since has designed and composed for productions including Festival 2018, Bleach* Festival, MONA FOMA, La Boite Theatre Company, tasdance, Brisbane Festival, MELT Festival, and The Farm. Her vast background in classical music and technology-based sound art result in musical concoctions from the traditional and contemporary worlds. Anna received the 2019 Matilda Award for Best Sound Design and Composition alongside colleague Luke Smiles for their work on Throttle, and she also designed for The SUI Ensemble’s La Silhouette, which won best independent production. Anna’s unique voice is also evident in her installation works which have exhibited at Bleach* Festival, HOTA, Flowstate, and MetroArts.