flaw

Image © Mia Forrest



Commissioned by Ensemble Offspring and the Australian Art Orchestra and premiered at the Sydney Festival in January 2016, FLAW is a 35 minute composition for organ and large ensemble. The work, presented alongside two other new commissions from Austin Buckett and Alvin Lucier, utilises a unique ensemble of strings, trumpet, percussion, reel-to-reel tape machine, turntable, electronics and pipe organ to create an immersive sound world that uses development and spatialisation to explore the perception of time.


"This is sensuous, immersive ambient music and a stunning example of how a good composer can distil the bombast and drama of the pipe organ into a thing of simple grace and beauty."

The Guardian



"Uncompromising assertiveness"

The Sydney Morning Herald



"The Phillips, FLAW, was my favourite of the night"  

SYN






 

perto do ar

Image © José Frade



Perto do Ar (Close to Air) is a 50 minute immersive composition for brass sextet that uses spatialisation and a very resonant acoustic to create an amazing work rich in complex overtones and sound colour. At particular points during the performance, members of the ensemble move around the audience making full use of the directional possibilities for this expansive work. 

(Perto do Ar was premiered on the 1st of November, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal. This important date is the anniversary of the Great Lisbon earthquake of 1755 as well as being All Saints Day. It was premiered in the magnificent Panteão Nacional, where many of Portugal's most important figures are buried.

This work was produced by Teatro Maria Matos, Lisbon with the generous assistance of the Australia Council of the Arts and was first performed with members of the Portuguese Chamber Orchestra and German Trumpeter, Nils Ostendorf).
 



"The pace of the music means you don't anticipate its full emotional heft until you're lost in the thick of it. The result is mesmerising, lending the impression that even the passage of time has surrendered to the wiles of the players."

The Guardian




(excerpts from live performance, 1st Nov 2014, Lisbon) 

blage series

Image ©  Jose Salado

Exploration of time, perception and place is the recurring theme of the work of Simon James Phillips. The Blage Series is a project of Simon James Phillips where he curates and performs one off, site-specific performances. He forms a new ensemble for each performance, and creates a concept that is specific to the performance space. A mix between concert and installation.

For example, the 3rd in the series was an extended installation and performance piece curated by Phillips for the opening of the Tanz im August Festival in Berlin. It was a one-off, five hour uninterrupted improvisation with an ensemble of six of Berlin’s most visible experimental artists – Tony Buck (drums and percussion), Werner Dafeldecker (double bass), BJ Nilsen (electronics), Liz Allbee (trumpet), Arthur Rother (guitar) and Simon James Phillips (piano). The ensemble was placed in the centre of a large dance studio and the audience, free to come and go, were admitted only once the work had begun – the five hour duration unknown to the audience. The ensemble created expansive sonic atmospheres that incorporated outside concrete noise, extended techniques and a sense of gradual overlapping thematic development. Communicative and responsive yet with a continual sense of consensual disconnection between the artists.
 
Blage 3 (a reduced version) has recently been released as a double CD set on Mikroton Recordings and has received high critical acclaim.
 



“Phillips' five hour long improv marathon compressed to two of the best hours of ensemble-driven work by this wickedly talented composer”.

Tome to the Weather Machine