Composers & WorksAndrea Keller

Other Selves
for violin
Composed for Donica Tran
First performance: 6 Dec 2021

Performed at the ANAM Set festival by
Donica Tran (violin)

The ANAM Set · Andrea Keller's ‘Other Selves’, performed by Donica Tran | The ANAM Set

Program note:
After meeting with Donica Tran to discuss how our composer/performer collaboration might play out and what kind of piece we would create, the thoughts that lingered with me were her fascination with groove and a willingness to grapple with improvisation in the performative situation. It is these musical concepts that resonate throughout Other Selves.

The score represents a series of ideas that invite the performer to improvise the structure, including where to begin and end, order of ideas, length of time spent on each idea, number of times an idea is presented, or if an idea is indeed played at all within the duration of the piece. Although the central themes and variations are notated, a ‘free play’ space exists, permitting the development of notated ideas beyond that which the score suggests.

The expressive meaning underlying Other Selves is twofold. Part draws on the notion that the piece affords the exploration and display of musical interests that lie outside Donica’s usual performance life. The other connects to a shared experience of living in lockdown, and the emergence of our ‘other selves’, with all their inherent strengths and vitality thrust to the fore during this extraordinary time.

About the composer:
Andrea Keller is a Melbourne-based pianist, composer and improviser. She is an active member of Australia’s contemporary creative jazz community through multiple roles as performer, composer, arranger, recording artist, researcher, teacher, mentor, and curator.

Having established herself as a prolific artist, she has devised and produced a multitude of projects, ranging from solo to large ensembles that celebrate the wealth and diversity of Australian musicians. Performance and commissioning highlights include; the Australian Art Orchestra, The Song Company, The Black Arm Band, Lano and Woodley, Eddie Perfect, Ensemble Offspring, Seraphim Trio, Ten Part Invention, Royal Children’s Hospital Hush Series, and more. In addition to performances throughout Australia she has performed internationally in Germany, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Canada, Wales, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, and Japan.

Lauded for her music in Australia, Keller has received numerous awards for her albums, ensembles and compositions, including; three ARIA, seven Australian Jazz Bell, and two Art Music Awards, as well as the Melbourne Prize for Music Beleura Emerging Composer Award, the Merlyn Myer Composing Women’s Commission, a Music Victoria Award, an APRA Professional Development Award, a fellowship from the Australia Council, and the inaugural MCA/Freedman Foundation Jazz Fellowship.

Keller currently runs educational programs such as Girls Do Jazz and Masters and Apprentices and is a part-time Lecturer in Music (Jazz and Improvisation) in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne.

She holds a Bachelor of Music in Improvisation (Honours) from the Victorian College of the Arts, a Master of Arts (Research) from Queensland University of Technology, and is a PhD candidate at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney University.

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