urmas sisask


Performing a piece of music for every planet, Griffyn explore the iconic works of Gustav Holst; stellar songs by David Bowie and The Beatles; the hauntingly beautiful Saturn by great Armenian-American composer Alan Hovhaness; as well as works by Estonian and Swedish composers, and excerpts from Griffyn composer Michael Sollis’ Perelandra Piccolo Concerto as set on the planet Venus. A soaring flyby of these cosmic attractions through electronic, acoustic and vocal performance.

MERCURY: Solar Plexus (Mercury) – Stellan Sagvik
VENUS: “Ransom” from Perelandra Piccolo Concerto – Michael Sollis
EARTH: Space Oddity – David Bowie
MARS: Solar Plexus (Mars) – Stellan Sagvik
ASTEROIDS: Across the Universe – The Beatles
JUPITER: South of Jupiter – Thom Hasenpflug
SATURN: Saturn – Alan Hovhaness
URANUS: The Zodiac: Pisces – Urmas Sisask
NEPTUNE: The Planets (Neptune) – Gustav Holst

17 September 2011 @ Bloom Festival, Ainslie Arts Centre

Southern Sky

What happens when Mt Stromlo and Aboriginal mythology collide with an Estonian composer? In the last 1990s Estonian composer/astronomer Urmas Sisask visited Australia to compose Southern Sky based on the southern constellations.

Sisask spent much time at Mt Strolmo Observatory (before it burnt down) and other observatories across Australia whilst also observing many Aboriginal rituals around the country. What resulted was a piece of music for every constellation in the sky with a connection to Aboriginal mythology.

Joined by astronomer Fred Watson, well known from his appearances on ABC Radio, the Griffyn Ensemble will perform the Australian premiere of Southern Sky, a decade after it was written in Australia. This special event will be held at the source of Sisask’s inspiration at Mt Stromlo Observatory and features celestial music, Aboriginal myth, and the story of the stars.

Friday March 30 2012, Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra 7:30pm
Saturday March 31 2012, Gasworks Studio Theatre, Melbourne 8pm
Sunday April 1 2012, Discovery Science and Technology Centre, Bendigo 5pm
With special guest, astronomer Fred Watson

Friday November 15 2013, Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra 8pm

You can read a blog article about the concert here.

A live performance was recorded for ABC Classic FM for Sunday Live in March, 2013