Big screen music

By Chris Mineral

Some of the best bands and musicians of many genres have worked over the years with animation artists to produce the most sublime pieces of art. 

It is created to be seen on the big screen of an indoor cinema, with a tremendous sound system. Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF) has for many years presented the most cutting-edge animation on the planet. 

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square, Flinders St, is the venue for the rebirthing of MIAF. It presents its retro opus 2020 edition MIAF 2020 Re-Animated from May 13 to 16.

Music does play an integral role in propelling narratives and action in animation and the ultimate experience is hearing the soundtracks to animation in big cinemas like the ones at ACMI. The MIAF has been at ACMI from its inaugural year and is a cornerstone of programming at ACMI. Tickets will be available soon. 

The full-flavoured MIAF 2021 will be happening in July 2021. From May 13, ACMI will also present a special showcase of animation from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library. Disney: The Magic Of Animation will open up on the same day as opening night for MIAF 2020 Re-Animated. ACMI is presenting the best Walt Disney animation for this sublime exhibition. There will be original sketches and rare artworks in the catalogue.

Melbourne is one of the great horse racing cities of the world, this is confirmed when Daryl Braithwaite with his superb band of musicians sings Horses at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Cox Plate Day and 27,000 people are singing with him. Marise Maas’ most recent exhibition was at the magnificent Flinders Lane Gallery (FLG), located on level one, the Nicholas Building, Swanston St. Throughout her career Maas has utilised the image of horses to express her creativity. In a curious move, the signature piece of the exhibition was a painting of a collection of chalk drawn trumpets on a black background. This painting is entitled The Stash. Among the trumpets there’s a French horn and a trombone. No horses. A mute becomes a scented perfume bottle with its sweet odour emanating forth. There’s a bit of Cy Twombly in this work.

In the centre of the painting she has two trumpets crossed over another (one horizontal one vertical) with white noise emanating from the vertical trumpet lifting up to a bell-shaped yellow light fitting. A very musical piece in a very musical city.

Pool House looks like an LA building in a canyon that Lisa MacKinney (Taipan Tiger Girls guitarist) highlighted recently on her Facebook page. There’s an aquamarine circle in the lower middle section of the painting with a clip tie, black with white stripes attached to the right side. On the top corner is a red elephant’s trunk, making one think of the theme from Sesame Street. There are red arrows flying up from the roof of the pool house. Standing one metre away from Pool House in the gallery, one thinks it could be the location of a Kylie Minogue or Taylor Swift film clip.

Shame File Music (SFM) is a specialist record label that focuses on chronicling Australian experimental music, contemporary and historical. SFM has released Music Under Lockdown: Melbourne 2020 by various artists. This 11-track album is a musical document of the response of Melbourne musicians to this extraordinary time. Compiled by Clinton Green, this superb album is available at Shame File Music’s Bandcamp page and is worth investigating.

The most recent edition of Music Matinee, at Scots Church, corner of Collins and Russell streets was held on Tuesday, April 6 and featured soprano singer Sarvenaz Monfaredi, violinist Alex Meikle-Briggs and on the piano Berta Brozgul.

Monfaredi and Brozgul were compelling when they performed selections from Franz Schubert, Mozart and Alan Berg. Monfaredi’s voice was bright, effervescent, electrifying.

Meikle-Briggs and Brozgul performed Sonata for Violin and Piano Op.82 – Edward Elgar (1919). Elgar wrote this piece at his estate at Fittlewood.

The third section, Allegro Non-Troppo was where this duo went into hyperspace, interstellar overdrive. We’ve seen this from Brozgul, where the attack on the keyboard is phenomenal, the crispness in the velocity of notes outstanding, going further into the notes, yet giving the impression that this musician has a margin to what she is playing. Absolutely flowing along. Meikle-Briggs was brilliant in holding sustained notes. The interaction between the violin and piano was languid. Bellissimo! •

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